Travel

Annecy, France

I was supposed to visit this small French town during a GVN virology conference, but I left the foundation before the meeting and so missed the visit. Today, I finally made it to Annecy. Well worth the wait.

The town was once a part of Geneva, but given a thousand years of Europe’s history in which borders, countries, and peoples were rearranged, this can’t be a surprise. The town sits on a beautiful blue-green lake, which backs up to an impressive barrier of mountains and escarpments. 

Travel

CERN

Interesting tour of CERN. You can go into the Atlas detector building, but there’s no going down to the Hadron collider itself. It’s running now (April thru November) and there’s too much radiation. Guess that’s why it’s buried 100 meters down. The collider is 27 kilometers in diameter and there’s a proposal on the table to build another one to100 kilometers. 

You can’t go down, but you can bicycle around the circumference of the collider tunnel, riding from Switzerland to France and back again, but parts of the path are rough and it’s a long ride. It’s also a reminder that as you pedal through fields and woods and pass by working farms, deep under your wheels are mysterious activities pushing the boundaries of science and technology. 

An early accelerator at CERN

Counting Higgs Bosons

High energy physics surrounded by bucolic fields