Getting Scientific at the CERN, Geneva Switzerland

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For all you science and universe lovers then a visit to the CERN when in Geneva is a must! The best thing is, it’s free to enter and is really rather unique!

CERN stands for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (in French) and was created by the European Council for Nuclear Research. It was founded in Paris in December 1951 and is concerned with the fundamental structure of the particles that make up everything around us – rather niche I know but it really is more interesting than it initially sounds! Basically it’s all about physics and particles and how the universe is made up!

We took a tram from the city centre to CERN which didn’t take long at all – it was easy to navigate as the stop for the tram is actually called ‘CERN’ and the buildings are literally right next to the ram stop – easy peasy!

The Globe of Science and Innovation is a really striking and unique looking building and is an emblem of science and innovation and a symbol of planet Earth. I read online that the building is actually the size of the dome of St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome so it is rather large!

Inside the Globe, visitors can wander around the ‘Universe of Particles’ exhibition which takes visitors on a journey into the deep world of particles, details the big bang and even tells you about the creation of the worldwide web – which happened here in Geneva!

One of the big questions which attempts to be answered in this exhibition is where do all the particles in which the universe is made up of come from? There really is so much to learn about if you are interested in this scientific big questions!

Nathan is a web designer and so spends his life on his laptop working on the internet and so he was particularly interested in the displays on the world wide web and how it was created. As it was his birthday trip I allowed him to geek out for a bit!!

The exhibition is really futuristic and cool looking with its dark lighting and interestingly shaped objects. There are lots of graphics that appear on the walls and information galore!

Across the road from the Globe building is the main CERN building and exhibition centre. Here, visitors are able to marvel at the huge apparatus and equipment scientists use to study the universe and its particles and if you’re interested, you can find out all about how the machine works (warning, it’s all rather technical!).

CERN is also great in that it offers free guided tours for all. We didn’t get a chance to go on one during our visit as we were quite tight for time, but I can imagine they would be very interesting and informative if you get a chance to join one.

There’s a lot of interactive displays too and a chance to look around where the workers exercise their brains and discover all things physics!

As with any good tourist attraction, there is a small gift shop at CERN seeling all this science and particles! The CERN is free to enter too which is great! All visitors with the Geneva Pass get a complimentary CERN postcard – one for the collection! We enjoyed our brief visit to the CERN, I think we spent about an hour here wandering around but you definitely could have spent longer if you not in such a rush to get to the next attraction!

Have you ever been to visit the CERN? If so, what did you think? How much did you learn? Let us know in the comments below!

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