25 Things About CERN

By JoAnne Hewett | February 28, 2009 1:50 pm

RULES: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people/entities to be tagged. You have to tag the person/entity who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

  1.  Mean free path is 10 meters before running into someone you know.
  2.  Atmosphere is charged.
  3.  Scenic views of the Alps.
  4.  Scenic views of the Jura.
  5.  Sooner or later you run into every physicist you know from every country.
  6.  The cafeteria is over-crowded at lunch.
  7.  The cafeteria is half-full of Americans.
  8.  The lab is fueled by coffee.
  9.  All business is conducted at the café.
  10.    Constant stream of people in the hallways.
  11.    Visitors get paid at the post office.
  12.    Office space is scarce and offices are crowded.
  13.    Offices could use a good coat of paint.
  14.    The wooden benches in the theory conference room have a historic look to them, but are uncomfortable for long periods of time.
  15.    Talks in the main auditorium can be translated into 4 different languages.
  16.    There are more seminars than one can keep track of.
  17.    It takes a dedicated effort to figure out how to use the washing machines in the hostel.
  18.    You can hear the guy snoring in the room next to you in the hostel.
  19.    The two large LHC detectors, ATLAS and CMS, are very different, and so are their tours.
  20.    Everybody is holding their breadth.
  21.    The main road to the lab is under construction.
  22.    The streets in the lab are named after famous physicists.
  23.    Tours for dignitaries, such as the King of Belgium, are routine.
  24.    The cafeteria sells epoisses.
  25.    Where else could a movie star start up a new accelerator???
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science and Society
  • Stocc

    Why does CERN want to know more about me?

  • mgary

    Visitors with CERN contracts can actually get paid at the real bank across from the post office. Of course, getting UBS to open a bank account for an American is a real trick and involves proving that you really do live in Switzerland.

    Also, I’m guessing at least your office has its own door. My office is accessed through another office because there is an electrical panel where the door should be.


    You have a few typos there!

    The LHC is definitely the most impressive machine ever built! I’m so impatient for it to be brought back on-line! Why do they have to delay it so much anyway?

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  • http://cavorite.com Juan Manuel Caicedo

    I can attest to most of the things in this list, specially the difficulty of using the washing and drying machines. Even if the instructions are in English and French, you must read them very carefully and then test if you understood them by trail and error (In the meantime you hope that your Swiss francs won’t go away) :-)

  • Tom Allen

    Does #20 mean that nobody is getting wider?

  • Clerk

    That’s it; if they are serving epoisses then count me out!

  • graviton383

    They’re getting wider from the epoisses….

  • CollideThis!

    Nay, the cafeteria is half-empty of Americans.

    #14 ftw

  • Haste Makes Waste

    Do not rush the magic at CERN.
    Take your time, be safe, and get it right.
    As Miracle Max said:
    Don’t rush me kid, you rush a miracle maker…you get lousy miracles.

  • Topi

    Gotta try that epoisses next summer when I’m working at CERN with the CMS as a summer trainee (boy I’m pumped about getting there o/).


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