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LHC 2008 - Open Day

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An integral part of the CERN infrastructure, with the CERN Control Centre and CERN's second largest accelerator, the SPS, the French site also sports a number of exciting experiments from astrophysics to structural analysis of matter.

The purpose of the CERN Control Centre (CCC) is to combine the control rooms of the Laboratory’s eight accelerators, as well as the piloting of cryogenics and technical infrastructures.  

Similar to a rail network that uses the same infrastructure to send passengers toward various destinations, the accelerators of CERN can transport several beams simultaneously and adapt each one to a given facility. It is this ability to deal with several beams at the same time that makes CERN a unique laboratory in its field of research.

The new centre has 40 operating tables. During peak operation periods, there could be up to 13 operators working on any one shift, not counting the many experts responsible for assisting them. Built and installed in just 15 months, the centre started running on 1 February, 2006. It is in this control room in summer 2008 that the champagne bottles will pop to celebrate the startup of Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world.


CERN Control Centre and Acclerator Chain

Astroparticle physics (Building AMS - 867)
The Alpha  Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment measures the “fingerprints” of astrophysical objects, such as stars, supernovae but also exotica like quark stars, by observing high-energy particles, cosmic rays, from its place on the International Space Station, where it is looking out into space. In the AMS building you can tour the cleanroom where the detector was built and learn more about the physics involved and how the experiment uses different dectectors to collect data from which specific particles can be identified.

COMPASS experiment (Building 888)
COMPASS is one of the experiments at the SPS, operating since 2002. For  its physics programme the worlds only muon beam is used. It is obtained  from high energetic protons being shot on a fixed beryllium target. The muons are then used to probe atomic nuclei in a second target, cooled to the lowest temperature reached at CERN.

The COMPASS visit will last about 45 min and, due to the different geometry compared to a collider experiment, will allow you to actually walk along and see each of the different detector components.Visits will start according to demand, and will be available in French, English, German and Italian.

There will be a shuttle service from the CCC to the COMPASS experiment, but you can also follow the signs for a 10 min walk.
Note: Access to COMPASS is forbidden to people below the age of 16 and pregnant women.

LHC Magnets: robotic operation and vacuum (building 927)
Building the LHC involved challenging engineering as well as industry-scale production facilities. Come here to see the LHC robot , a huge machine that can lift the 30t LHC dipoles without breaking a sweat. Engineers will explain to you how to achieve vaccuum in the 27km long tubes for the LHC beam (and the huge detectors of course) and how to align the thousands of magnets around the ring to a precision of  1/20th of a millimetre. An exhibition on LHC milestones will the complete the picture.

Salle de conférence du College
Please find below a schedule for talks about CERN and the LHC which will take place at the Salle de conférence du College.


CERN and the LHC



CERN and the LHC


14:30 CERN and the LHC French


CERN and the LHC




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