CERN enters ‘long shutdown’ phase and opens its doors to the public
The world’s largest particle physics research centre, CERN, has entered its second long shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and will once again open its doors to the general public for a unique ‘open day’ experience.
The centre, based in Geneva, Switzerland traditionally attracts over 110,000 visitors per-year to spectate its myriad of accelerators, detectors, computing infrastructure and experiments that serve to research the origins of the universe.
The 2019 CERN Open Days will take place on 14th and 15th September, providing a unique opportunity to discover the major upgrade work currently being carried out at CERN in the context of the second Long Shutdown in preparation for the LHC restart in 2021.
This work aims to improve the LHC’s performance and prepare for the arrival of the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), which is planned for 2026. During the Open Days, physicists, engineers and technicians will explain all the ins-and-outs of their work and help visitors to discover the future of particle physics.
Under the banner “Explore the future with us”, the open days are an opportunity for the public to live the CERN experience and meet the men and women working on the technologies and discoveries of today and tomorrow.
“With many sites open for visits and more than 100 activities, led by a huge team of enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate volunteers that will guide, explain and guarantee visitors an incredible experience, this provides a great opportunity to see this unique working environment with one’s own eyes”, says Anna Cook, Deputy Group Leader of Talent Acquisition at CERN.
Jobs at CERN – is it all about physics?
The company employs around 2,600 professionals to build, operate and maintain the infrastructure that is used by a worldwide community of physicists to perform world-class research.
Contrary to popular belief, only 3 per cent of CERN’s professional staff members are research physicists. The organisation cites its core hiring need as engineers and technicians, as well as support staff, spanning many disciplines, including electricity, mechanics, material science, vacuum and computing, and many more.
CERN was also the birth place of the world wide web, indicating the critical nature of technological advancements at the facility, continuously innovating and creating solutions that benefit both its Member State industries and society as a whole.
On the frequent misconception that CERN is solely on the look-out for physics staff, Anna Cook, says: “CERN’s mission is to uncover the mysteries of our universe and is known as the largest physics laboratory in the world, so in many ways this misconception comes from a logical assumption,”
“What is probably less understood by the public is that to achieve this level of cutting-edge particle physics research, you need the infrastructure and tools to perform it: the accelerators, detectors, technology, computing and a whole host of other disciplines, and this is where engineering, technical and support staff is fundamental to the success of our mission.”
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research is one of the largest scientific experiments in the world. Founded in 1952, its mission is to uncover what the universe is made of and how it works, by providing a unique range of particle accelerator facilities to researchers, to advance the boundaries of human knowledge, uniting people from all over the world to work towards a common goal.