Full energy sketches!

CERN is a surprising place: something between James Bond and Gyro Gearloose. In two words, here was discovered internet (check on the first website.) and the famous boson de Higgs!

This adventure has something of an internet fairy tale friendship.

Lara Lloret, CERN physicist, is Spanish. She once saw a book of mine at Oviedo’s library (Asturies) and she sent me an e-mail. We became friends and we met to draw together in France and Spain.
Lara is impressive: as a teenager, she learnt French by herself to understand a french pop hit. When I met her, she was learning as easily to draw by herself. Richard Sennett said wisely that “Technical intelligence develops itself through imagination and curiosity forces.”

CERN - Lara Lloret

She offered me to meet her at Geneva in December 2013. Alps are really close to Lyon! She sent me a spanish TV programm where she speaks about scientific popularization to give me a foretaste. I realised these portrait sketches while listening to her.

So now I discover “for real” her universe under a iced and snowy coat.

Exactly like the day they invented internet on a snowy stormy day to avoid the big walks outside in this huge center…

CERN - Library

On the horizon, Mont Blanc seems so still in its white down. All around, scientists walk slowly along this maze, absorbed in thoughts. Fascinating concentration, just like if we were in another universe here.

The whole energy is heading for experiments.

By the way, the 27 kilometres tunnel famous particle accelerator is set just below our feet. Huge, I must say! Our phones keep on hesitating between French mobile and Swiss natel networks.

CERN - Welcoming Shivah

CERN seems to be a little state where all the residents come from all around the world. That’s why in front of Lara’s office, we are welcomed by a majestic Shiva that Indian physicists offered to CERN.

CERN - Le bureau de Lara - Boson de Higgs

In this area, we can find some experiment scale models. Lara explains to me how it works. «Imagine two people on a beach playing with an invisible ball: this is a bosons exchange (like bosons de Higgs) between fundamental particles!»

For LHC, new picture. Creation is as simple as pie: We put particles in a washing-machine and that’s it! Big bang !!! “As the accelerator is resting for a while, we can go down inside this afternoon.” Amazing!

CERN - Lara dans l'amphi - Boson de Higgs

I draw Lara while she quickly keys numbers on her computer beating the gun: “Experiments stimulating.” We are seating in the lecture hall, right where physicists Higgs and Englert confirmed the boson de Higgs discovery.

This is so SO moving to be seating right here and imagine THE moment: fifty years of work finally successful.

CERN - Higgs et Englert
Messieurs Higgs and Englert got the Nobel Prize.

I got a bit overawed when Lara told me “Yesterday at the cafetaria, I had lunch between two Nobel prize awarded scientists: totally commonplace here.”

CERN is also a utopian place without any fuss. Impressive. On the wall, TV screens broadcast experiments results. Concentration…

CERN - CMS - Bureau de Lara

Here we are, going down into the Big bang cathedral.

Lara takes a picture of me to capture this moment. Religious silence in front of human creativity!

Lara, just like Cédric Villani and many other scientists, is able to share with us her universe when we feel it’s a huge black hole… Internet is the best proof out of it: a universal invention to share pieces of information with the greatest number of people. Utopia becomes real.

So you see it’s really easy actually!

You can check on these popularization websites to know more (scientists do have a huge sense of humour!):


Tout est quantique

La physique autrement

CERN - AtlasCERN - Alice