On 21 June 2013, 12 members of WiN IAEA, WiN France and WiN Switzerland paid a visit to CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The visit was initiated by WiN IAEA and hosted by CERN’s Diversity Programme.
CERN is home to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the 27-km Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC produces head-on collisions between two beams of highly accelerated protons, which allow scientists to explore new territory in matter, energy, space, and time, for example the detection of the HIGGS boson. Four huge detectors – ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb – observe the collisions. Due to the current shut-down of the LHC, WiN members were able to visit one of these detectors, ATLAS, 92 m below ground level. With a diameter of 25 m, a length of 46 m and a weight of 7000 tons, ATLAS records 3200 terabytes of data per year, which is equivalent to about 3 billion books. 3000 scientists from 38 countries and 174 universities and labs work for the ATLAS experiment (for more information, visit http://www.cern.ch and http://atlas.ch).
After the tour WiNners exchanged views and experiences with female scientific and managerial staff of CERN. The visit has created new relationships across borders and opportunities for future interactions, thus strengthening the network between WiN chapters and beyond.