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“Conflicting feelings”

CERN Univers de particules
Ranked #1 of 39 Museums in Geneva
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: CERN, in Geneva, is the world’s largest particle physics research centre. CERN has recently brought into service the world’s most powerful accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), which will provide new insights into the Universe and how it evolved. The entire Universe is made up of particles. But where do they come from? What laws govern their behaviour? The purpose of the "Universe of particles" exhibition is for visitors to confront the great questions of contemporary physics : a journey to the Big Bang.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 16 June 2014

I traveled to Geneva in May and one of my visiting places was CERN. I had booked the guided tour about 3 months earlier and expectations were size of the super massive black hole.

Even though I already knew that we wouldn't be able to see any of those underground test sites, the disappointment was still high, when I realized that tour only included a quick visit near to ATLAS control room, that was seen through the glass wall, and too many, too long videos, which were boring because they didn't provide any new information, as I had made my own research beforehand - which is the action I assume everyone who is interested in visiting CERN to do..

One positive thing I want to pick out was our guide, an elder scientist who had worked with physics for his lifetime. We had nice conversations with him :)

The biggest disappointment was the souvenir store, which is located in the reception building. There were almost nothing to buy, especially if you were looking for clothes, umbrellas and other textiles, which could be found in the net - what led me to believe that they really have those things for sale. Only considerable t-shirts were meant for men and were size XXXL. So yep, I surely bought one..

In the other hand, Microcosm and Universe of Particles -exhibitions were quite cool, although I think the main target group is still younger students and people, who hasn't learnt those basic things of physics, space and such earlier.

So if you're into science, universe and other cool visual and informative things and you don't know nothing but low basics about this theme, I suggest you to book a visit and see what it can offer - but, if you're looking for new info and mind blowing experiences, I wouldn't bother to travel in Geneva just to see CERN.

If you're still going, there are plenty of activities to see and do in that area, so plan your trip beforehand and find out other cool places to visit, e.g. United Nations headquarters, Museum of Science History and maybe a day trip over the French border. Annecy is a very beautiful little French town, and I enjoyed it much more than Geneva itself - besides, it's way more cheaper than GVA!

1  Thank CillaMaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 June 2014

We booked a tour of CERN months ago and specifically visited Geneva to see CERN. We were so excited to be at this facility but so disappointed by the poor quality of this tour. If you think that you go underground forget that idea. In your tour you don't actually tour anything but you do get lots of video presentations and bored to tears by a nuclear physicist who obviously has to take a tour as part of his tenure. We started with a video presentation (old) about CERN then we walked across the road and got another lecture about CERN while we were standing in 35 degrees heat in front of a replica of the tunnel. We then walked 100 metres to the unmanned control room where we spent a good hour looking through glass at the room which only had the safety officer in there. We got tortured by an hour long lecture and a power point presentation and then got taken into a room for another 20 minute video on CERN which repeated all the stuff we had heard over and over before. We are intelligent people who were completely underwhelmed by this tour and would not recommend it to anyone.

8  Thank doneitalready
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014 via mobile

Did you always wanna know all about the big bang? Ever wondered what the LHC is? CERN is giving you all the answers about our universe, dark matter, physics, the LHC. Im two (free entrance) exhibitions you'll get to know all about.

1  Thank JesseBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

My husband and I were so excited to visit Cern, having read numerous books and articles on the LHC and particle physics for fun, and whist it was exciting to be at the facility, I was so disappointed by the tour experience.
We booked as soon as the dates became available (about 2 months before) . Unlike the website states (Maximum 7), there were about 25 people in our English speaking group.
Arrived at the tour point very excited and we were given a very official badge and we were told it would be collected at the end of the tour. The centre was packed with school groups and other small groups of suited men.
Part 1 - 30 minute video on the 50th Anniversary celebrations which was made 10 years ago.
Part 2 - 30 minutes visit to the ATLAS Centre with a physicist who used a lego model of the LHC to explain the operations and also showed examples of data capturing and computer modelling. (It was very difficult to concentrate on what he was saying as other groups were milling about and talking loudly behind us!) He showed a PowerPoint on particle physics which highlighted what they do at the Atlas facility. We looked into an LHC monitoring room through a glass window. There were projections on the wall in real time of what was going on below. (in one second captures) There were upgrades on the system in progress.
Part 3 - 20 minute 3D video on the building of the LHC.
That was the end of the tour. He took our badges as we left through the ATLAS Centre gates. 90 minutes start to finish.
We did ask when we got back to the visitors centre if there was anything else available, but they said that was it for the day.
So, what did I gather from the reviews and my experience?
People have a very wide range of expectations from their visit. People have a wide range of actual experiences when they are there. People often plan ahead and organise to go to Geneva specifically to visit CERN (like we did) and the amount of planning doesn't necessarily fit the experience.
In the end, we were happy to experience a facility that is making history, but I would have liked to have seen so much more.

1  Thank Tania_Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

An amazing place to visit. You really need to be ready to absorb all the detail. Arrive 1=2 hrs early to visit microcosm lab, and leave an hr after the formal tour to really benefit.

1  Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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