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CERN Univers de particules
Ranked #1 of 39 Museums in Geneva
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Owner description: CERN, in Geneva, is the world’s largest particle physics research centre. CERN has recently brought into service the world’s most powerful accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), which will provide new insights into the Universe and how it evolved. The entire Universe is made up of particles. But where do they come from? What laws govern their behaviour? The purpose of the "Universe of particles" exhibition is for visitors to confront the great questions of contemporary physics : a journey to the Big Bang.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed October 20, 2011

We were very fortunate to visit Cern for a truly memorable tour by one of the researchers. We spent some time in a lecture hall and then did a tour of the facility. We attended as part of an expat group, of international visitors, through the Geneva local network. Book a visit s soon as you know you are going to Geneva - the waiting list for tours is often months in advance. It is very popular and educational. We were most impressed with the dedication of staff to bother with voluntary tours of such high calibre. Well done and many thanks for allowing visitors to this amazing facility and centre of collaborative research!

1  Thank Moment-of-truth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 2, 2011

We booked a guided tour thro' CERN's website and definitely recommend this as you are taken around the ATLAS site by a physicist who gives you a real insight into the workings of this scientific site. The tour is around 2 hours long and heavy on technical science so it's great for people who have a working understanding of physics but maybe a bit heavy going for others.
There are two static displays which you can visit which are user friendly and help explain particle physics to a beginner. All the displays are multilingual and everyone is really friendly and willing to explain displays.
The downside is that there are no refreshment facilities and as it was a hot day when we visited we really struggled. There is one vending machine in the main reception building but that is all.
If you want to get close to the Hadron Collider and learn more about the Big Bang it's definitely worth it but I wouldn't advise bringing children as they would be soon bored.

1  Thank cathymolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Before leaving Perth we had booked a free tour with CERN. On the day of the tour we travelled to the outskirts of Geneva taking tram 16 to Avanchet and then bus 56 to the end of the line. It was cold and the surroundings looked dull and bleak however this soon changed when we realised we were standing on the site of deep tunnels where science occurs. CERN is the European organisation for nuclear research and is an international collaboration of 20 member states with offices all around the world. Some remarkable things have happened at CERN such as the world wide web (the internet!!!!) was invented at CERN to help particle physicists around the world communicate, similar to the way facebook was invented for university students however turned mainstream. Cern is home to the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator – the LHC. The LHC is a tunnel 27 km in circumference buried 50m to 150m below the ground spanning through France and Switzerland, we were told to bring our passports in case we crossed the borders!
Our tour was on the Atlas project, CERN regularly rotates its tours and is unable to predict which one you will get due to what is happening within the walls of CERN.
The tour goes for around two hours and includes a short video, followed by a walk through the exhibition area (the Globe and the Microcosm) before leaving the reception building. Our tour guide was an energetic young scientist that was more than happy to talk about what he loved to do. We then went outside, crossed the grounds to a building that housed a section of the Atlas project. Our guide pointed out that the beginning scenes of Angels and Demons was shot in the tunnels below the Atlas project. We were unable to go down below however we did see a control room of the atlas project. After the tour ended we went to the Universe of particles CERN visitor centre and this was a big load of fun, I could only imagine what it would be for kids. The centre is completely dark except for the lights of spectacular audio and visual displays. There are six areas to the centre that include; detecting particles, science without borders, In their own words, mysterious worlds, spark chamber and the research area. The displays are very interactive and at one point a voice came out of nowhere and a show was display around the circular walls, everyone stopped and sat in random spots to appreciate how the universe was made. We were almost going to skip the visitor centre as memories of boring excursions from school surfaced however were so pleased that we gave the CERN visitor centre a chance.

I left CERN with a new appreciation and knowledge that I could share with everyone back at home. I also felt like I could relate to the characters on The Big Bang Theory.

6  Thank leanne_pearc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

We're both scientists (though not as hard-core as this), and we absolutely loved this trip! Our guide was very knowledgeable, spoke perfect english and was very entertaining and funny.

3  Thank JiffyMoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

As a couple we are the up quark and down quark of science. So I dragged the down quark along to CERN and she is now converted to particle physics.

We had tried to reserve places on a guided tour but had left it too late, it seems at least a month or more in advance is required when booking (do it as soon as you plan your trip). However the gods of subatomic particles where smiling on us on that day and they squeezed us on to the tour after all - if you don't ask and all that....in particular we would like to thank the really lovely man in Building 33 who organised it for us.

Unfortunately we didn't get the name of our tour guide. The guides actually work as physicists on the site and therefore know what they are talking about. We were fortunate in that our group consisted of only adults who were asking sensible questions, had a sense of humour and were patient with each other (another group had children and honestly there isn't much to entertain under tens so the kids were obviously bored and seemed to be spoiling it for the others in the group).

The other reviews here talk about the displays and great work done at CERN so I'll skip that bit. We had planned to spend 2 hours here and ended up staying for 4 so that tells you all you really need to know.

In 2012 there is work being carried out on the collider so that means that tours will include a trip underground (closed, flat shoes essential). We might even come back then!

7  Thank Travowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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