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Journey into CERN – The Globe

Close-up Engineering takes you to the journey into CERN, the world’s biggest particle physics laboratory. This first part is dedicated to the Globe of Science and Innovation, an awesome structure which can be considered as “The Temple of Science”

The Globe of Science and Innovation

The Globe of Science and Innovation. Credits: Raffaele Salvemini

Sixty-two years ago, in a divided Europe after World War, some brilliant minds understood the importance of merge and cooperate between each other: one of those was the Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi. The goal was to take the physic record back ended up in the American hands; in a few time the scientists understood that a scientifically united Europe could have done important things, and make US and Russia jealous.

As a consequence, the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire was born, well known as CERN. Today 2.500 employees work there, coming from 113 different countries, it merges 608 universities and about 13.000 scientists taught or research there, we are talking about half of the particle physicists of the world. Italy, one of the founders, is the forth contributors with 112 million of euro per year (CERN – 2013).

In the Meyrin area, in Geneve, there is the Globe of Science and Innovation, a huge spherical structure which represents the planet earth realized by the architects Hervé Dessimoz e Thomas Büchi. 27 meters tall per 40 meters as diameter (that’s as big as the Saint Peter cupola in Rome), was originally built as Palais de l’Equilibre for Expo.02 in Neuchatel in 2002; the structure is characterized by two concentric spheres one into the other one. The Globe was entirely realized in five different type of wood, sustainable built: scots pine, douglas pine, spruce pine, larch and canadian maple.

The external shell in made by wood staves and two stairs that links the different floors, the visitors can then admire the green around the structure. The internal sphere, the smaller one, is made by 18 wood arches covered by wood panels; the grid characterizes the intern part of the globe. After the end of Expo.02, the Switzerland confederation gifted the to the CERN, the latter renamed it as Globe of Science and Innovation.

Antonio Piazzolla al CERN
Globe sign. Credits: Raffaele Salvemini

The structure is easily movable and it has been reopened in 2004 for the 50th anniversary of the CERN. The Globe is divided in two floors. At the ground floor there is a permanent exhibition about the particle universe divided in 6 areas: Mysterious worlds (about universe), LHC (particle accelerator), Find particles (in which is illustrated the particles studies), Science without boundaries (all the researches in CERN), On our way (scientists answers frequent questions about their work) and at the end Research area who allows to the visitors to see live the particles collision in the LHC.

The second floor is a poly functional area, utilized for events such as conferences, academic movie and press conferences. From the first to the second floor, on the wall, is possible to admire the illustrations of the Big Bang.

Wandering the immeasurable
A detail of “Wandering the immeasurable”. Credits: Raffaele Salvemini

Even more intriguing than this weird psychedelic contrast between the spheres, the green around, is the steel sculpture outside the Globe. That’s “Wandering the immeasurable“, it weighs 15 tons, 11 meters tall and 37 meters long, it is rolled in a 60-shape sculpture. On the external surface there are 396 innovation in their original languages, each one with the name of the scientist who discovered it, the year and the scientific field. Author of the sculpture is the canadian artist Gayle Hermickdi, commissioned by the Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino in the 60th anniversary of CERN.

In the next part of our reportage we will talk about the AMS-02, hearing about evidences from Elisa Laudi and Davide Rozza.