LPHE exhibition at the EPFL Open Days

Last weekend, April 29-30, 2023, EPFL opened its doors to general public for its EPFL Open Days 2023. This event ended up with frank success, since around 25,000 visitors came to learn more about the captivating universe of science and engineering. At this occasion, our lab presented an educative exhibition for the visitors of all ages who wished to learn about experimental particle physics.

Our exposition featured various particle detection techniques, such as silicon-strip sensors or scintillating detectors. We also presented the photomultipliers and fibers that allow to collect light from scintillating detectors. The principles of tracking and calorimetry in particle physics were explained by our guides to anyone interested. Many of the shown objects are the prototypes or parts of the large-scale detectors used in the LHCb experiment at CERN or other experiments.

Silicon-strip detector used at the LHCb experiment in 2010-2018.Microscope view of the scintillating-fiber mat in transverse cross-section.The electromagnetic calorimeter module with scintillating bars. Scintillating-fiber mat and its behavior under ultraviolet light.

Our visitors could see with their own eyes the tracks of charged particles in the cloud chamber, or observe the cosmic rays in real time with help of the scintillating detectors. We also prepared educative games for children which, for example, visualized the cross-section measurements at accelerators, using a mechanical analogy.

 Demonstration of the cloud chamber.Alpha source inside cloud chamber.Cosmic-ray muon live-tracked by our detectors.Study of the scintillating fibers with microscope.

Of course, we also presented material on the CERN accelerator complex and its detectors, notably the LHCb experiment.