High School Teachers





Why is CERN called CERN?



CERN welcomes visitors

CERN's Visit Service welcomes individuals, as well as groups.  Microcosm  is open six days a week.
The Microcosm's Information page for teachers is at http://www.cern.ch/microcosm/teachers/home.  

The liaison between microcosm and the visits service is close, and an integrated package can be set up. By prior arrangement, CERN welcomes visitors and will show them around parts of the installation, and this is likely to include a visit to one of the detectors. Quite how much you see depends whether the machine is running, because much of it then becomes a radiation hazard area. 


We have produced a virtual tour of Microcosm.

The HST 2000 teachers invested a lot of time in the Microcosm exhibit, in cooperation with Emma Sanders, Microcosm's manager.  As a result, some of our projects focused on Microcosm.

Webpages tours were produced:

in Dutch 

in English 

If your computer is equipped with QuickTime4 you can watch the webcast version of the Microcosm tour


CERN has a wealth of information

on the web from the very basic ideas of Particle Physics up to some highly technical resources.

Some useful CERN pages 


Contacts & Additional Information

CERN is also available on the internet. Microcosm can be found on www.cern.ch/microcosm/ which includes pages for teachers and potential visitors. Tel: Switzerland 22 767 8484 Fax: Switzerland 22 767 8710 for Visits and Microcosm. From here you can also get some excellent worksheets for Microcosm, which come in three levels which should then be accessible to a wide range of abilities around 15 yrs old age; at the moment only in English. 

Jason Ward has written a guide helping you to set up your visit, especially from the UK. This can be found at Glasgow University at PPEWWW.PH.GLA.AC.UK/~jward/guide/cernguide.html - note the capital letters. This all on one page, and can take a while to download - at the first visit go for the 'text only' option. There is also a good list of other particle physics websites here. 

 Phil Hanley has also written some worksheets aimed at 6th form scientists, and some background information on CERN and Geneva, which can be obtained via Hanley@southbridge.demon.co.uk.


Beata Ryl (Poland, HST99) had these thoughts about Microcosm. 

Our stay here allowed us to visit Microcosm once more, and we have had enough time to see closely all parts of this exhibition. 

It fulfils its role and brings the elementary particles world closer, showing how to discover this world and the connection between žsmallÓ and žbigÓ. There is a simple part and a technical part which is (maybe) too complicated for children (they may have difficulties with understanding and imagining how it works and what for) but interesting for adults. 

You can compare anything from the Universe to the smallest things, to imagine their relative sizes. Look at the short computer program that shows a picture of flowers, planets and a DNA helix. There is a program about accelerating particles simply shows how the big machines work. There is a picture, which gives a three-dimensional impression of the tunnel. 

There is much, much more to see. This way of popularizing particle physics is very good and changes are always happening to the display so as to make it better. 


© CERN and High School Teachers Programme at CERN. Last modified: 28 June 2002