In February 2016 an interactive window was installed at the ALICE Run Control Centre. It is a projection screen with a multitouch surface, which can change its opacity, giving the opportunity to either look inside the control centre or to show the specially designed interactive presentation.
The idea to put an interactive window in Point 2 was born back in 2013, while the renovation of the ALICE run control centre was still ongoing. At that time Roberto Divià, Ombretta Pinazza and Federico Ronchetti went to see the first such window, which was installed at the AMS control centre in Prevessin. “We liked it a lot and we thought that it has a very good potential. We got in touch with MediaLab and they agreed to help us create one for ALICE” – says Roberto Divià.
Both the technology and the software were developed by MediaLab, while the presentation itself was a split effort between them and the ALICE team. The slides include an introduction about the experiment, a brief explanation about the physics behind ALICE, specifics for each project and for each country’s contribution to the collaboration. As Roberto explains: “There is a separate page for each project, where we show what the project is doing and how it will develop in the future. This is more for technical visitors. For VIP visits we may create an additional presentation, which would contain more information, not suitable for the general public.” There is also a 3D model of ALICE, which will be regularly updated since the detectors undergo many changes. This way what is being shown to the public will always stay up to date.
One of the best advantages of the interactive window is the possibility to show visitors what lays 52 metres below their feet and what hides behind the heavy red magnet doors. Some of the visiting groups already had the chance to see the window during the year-end technical stop and there is one aspect that Roberto wasn’t expecting: “The people obviously enjoyed the presentation, but what surprised me was that they actually approach the window and start playing with it. They zoom in and out to the different parts of ALICE and they seem to like that a lot.”
A Guide’s guide with description of all slides and containing the information intended to be given for each of them was created by Roberto. The goal is for every ALICE guide to receive his or her personal copy in the near future.
One of the most important things left to be done is the gathering of accurate and up to date information about each country’s participation. So far the ALICE secretariat has asked every country’s representative to provide the needed details. “What we try to do is to make each visitor feel his home town’s participation. To see which institutes are members of the collaboration and what exactly they are doing. But finding all the information is a difficult task.” – says Roberto. Any information sent to the secretariat would be highly appreciated both by the team behind the interactive window and, at a later stage, by the ALICE visitors.