As the world’s largest science experiment, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) enjoys a keen international interest. The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has created a travelling exhibition called “LHC on Tour” which was open to public, in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh from 2 to 8 February 2013.
Visitors could walk through a life size model of part of the LHC tunnel, learn more about science and hear from researchers at Scottish universities what it’s like to be a particle physicist working at the biggest scientific instrument ever built.
John Jowett, leader of the LHC heavy-ion team in the CCC.
On 6 February, CERN’s John Jowett, a former student at Edinburgh University, set up a live video link from the exhibition to colleagues in the LHC control room together with a display of proton-lead nucleus collisions directly from the ALICE experiment. This continued during a reception organised by the STFC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, during which a number of Members of the Scottish Parliament, journalists and distinguished scientists, including Professor Peter Higgs, were able to speak to doctoral students in beam physics and the operation team working in the control room. According to Jowett “this was an opportunity to raise awareness of research opportunities for gifted students at CERN. Together with the spectacular images from ALICE, I think it was very well received”.
On the following day, Dr Aidan Robson, physicist at the University of Glasgow, also explained during a lecture, the science and significance of the recent discovery of the Higgs-like boson and what is to come next.