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Our universe was yours

21 October 2013

CERN opened its doors at the end of September
to more than 70,000 visitors.

CERN Open Days 2013 saw 70,000 people visit more than 40 activities on the surface across CERN’s Meyrin and Prévessin sites, with 20,000 of them able to see something of the accelerators and detectors underground. Highlights for visitors included seeing one of the large experiments on the LHC – ALICE, ATLAS, CMS or LHCb – or operating robotic arms and forklift trucks, or even making superconducting magnets levitate. A taskforce of 2300 volunteers acted as guides and helpers, explaining the variety of activities at CERN – from particle physics and computing to logistics and firefighting – to enthusiasts young and old.

As well as the public open days on Saturday and Sunday, events before and after made this a weekend to remember. On Friday 27 September, CERN welcomed local officials and industrial contacts from throughout its member states for exclusive tours of the laboratory. In the evening – and to celebrate European Researchers’ Night – CERN and the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica organized “Origins 2013”, an event that included simultaneous activities at CERN, Paris and Bologna, with participation from UNESCO, ESA, ESO and INFN. During a webcasted event in the Globe of Science and Innovation at CERN, those onstage took questions both from the audience and online.

There was also a flurry of activity on social media. Online events began with a CERN tweetup on Friday, when 12 lucky people visited CERN as citizen journalists to share their exclusive preview of the open days with the world via Twitter.

Lastly, on the following Monday, the whirlwind of events culminated with “Bosons and More” – a celebration for CERN people.

• Max Brice, the CERN photographer, led a team of 26 photographers recording the open-days’ events, with Anna Pantelia, Fons Rademakers, Laurent Egli, Mike Struick, Didier Steyaert, Mathieu Augustin, Pierre Gildemyn, Matthias Schroder, Dmytro Kovalskyi, Lelia Laureyssens, Sylvain Chapeland, Jan Fiete Grosse-Oetringhaus, Antonella Vitale, Jean-Francois Marchand, Neli Ivanova, Olga Driga, Doris Chromek-Burckhart, Sebastian Lopienski, Tomek photographe, Nicolas Voumard, Erwin van Hove, Stephan Russenschuck, Ilknur Colak, Laura Rossi and Alban Sublet. A selection of photographs is shown here, for many more, see http://cds.cern.ch/collection/Open Days 2013 Photos.

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