by Gergely Gábor Barnaföldi. Published: 29 October 2014

Hungarian universities, high schools and public organizations have a unique opportunity nowadays, since high-energy physics can be delivered to their home for a call. The history of the Universe got wheels and is able to roll to the public and to the source of the next generation of scientists.

A year ago, the ALICE member Wigner RCP (Research Centre for Physics) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences together with the Energy Institute, decided to invest for the future of the high-energy-, nuclear-, and nanoscience fields. "We have planned a mobile exhibition and designed a bus and planned a roadshow, called Colourful Physics Roadshow" says Gergely Gábor Barnaföldi (Hungarian ALICE group leader).

The aim of the Colourful Physics Roadshow was to motivate high school students as the 'reservoir' of next generation of scientists for CERN physics and the related state of-the-art technologies applied in our field. High school, universities and public organizations can sign up for the bus for each semester.

To get a high attendance we decided to use channels to get younger audiences while we also came up with an appealing design for the inside and outside of the bus. An exciting hand-painted history of the universe on the bus surface was made by a graffiti neo-art group (Neopaint Works). The inner exhibitions are three-fold from the nano- through the nuclear and subnuclear world.

Later comes a mini LHC-tunnel, where guests can walk ”inside” the giant detectors of the experiments, watching movies about the journey to the early stages of our Universe. Finally, visitors who wanted to learn more, can generate events on the Particle Clicker online game and collect even a virtual Nobel prize once they have generated enough ALICE or CMS events.

Besides the interactive exhibition, demonstrators motivate the guests by explaining the journey to the heart of matter, presenting detector pieces and giving public lectures twice a day on the recent hot topics on the stage of the bus. 

The bus was inaugurated by CERN's General Director Prof. Rolf Heuer on the 2 May 2014, at the Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary. Since then, we have started the roadshow and the webpage to follow the spots for the mobile exhibition. We also participated to CERN 60th anniversary Open Days programme locally in Budapest, which included an online virtual tour of CERN.

Thanks to the sponsors, namely Wigner RCP of the HAS, Energy Institute of the HAS, Hungarian Electricity Provider (MVM), and the Wigner's ALICE Group, the Colourful Physics Bus continues its trip in Hungary, and is fully booked for the next semester. “Maybe, some of our younger visitors get motivated to join our ALICE group in the future” says Gergely.

Links:

- Wigner RCP of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences http://wigner.mta.hu

- Colourful Physics Bus (in Hungarian only) http://www.sokszinufizika.hu/

- Particle Clicker http://particle-clicker.web.cern.ch/particle-clicker/