Geneva & Montreux, Switzerland

Two weeks in February, I went to CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), outside of Geneva, where 3000 scientists and engineers work. Alicia swung by for a little visit to Switzerland, and to see what CERN is all about.

My office, in the "Theory Division", with a view of the Jura
(mountain chain that sticks out from the Alps).

Alicia inspecting the Large Hadron Collider, CERN's new experiment
in a 27 km long tunnel, 100m below ground.

This particular machine is called ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS),
and if you want to know what it's good for, it's all here.

To the left of my big smile you can see the hole in the middle, where the
proton beam is going to come in, having travelled thousands of
27-km laps at almost the speed of light, to hit other protons head-on.

Then, the hard work is to figure out what the thousands of particles
that come out in this huge explosion are doing and why.

But now, a weekend of vacation.

First we went to Thoiry, a little mountain village on the French side.

Sunset in Geneva.

On Sunday we went to Montreux, a little town on the other edge
of Lake Geneva, right where the Jura meets the Alps.

Montreux is known and beloved by many rock stars,
including Freddy Mercury in this picture, and Deep Purple's
Smoke On the Water begins "We all went down to Montreux,
on the Lake Geneva shoreline...". (That story can be found here.)

We had a good time, and I managed to find a pub where we could see
Sweden beat Finland 3-2 in the Olympic hockey final!

Back at the CERN cafeteria, we deserved a croissant with goat cheese.

And finally, back home on Mommsenstrasse in Berlin.