SESAME’s stand was one of the very numerous activities organized during the CERN Open Days held in Geneva on 14-15 September. Among these activities were site visits, experimental workshops, debates, exhibition stands, hands-on exhibits, film screenings and theatre performances, for which 75,000 visitors travelled to Geneva.
This is not the first time that SESAME has been present at the CERN Open Days – it had also taken part in the previous Open Days organized in 2013.
Located in the “International Village”, SESAME’s stand attracted many people, some of whom were intrigued by the mechanism of generating light from an accelerator, while others were curious about science’s contribution to a culture of peace. Of particular interest to the younger visitors were the explanations, by means of a 3D model of the magnets of one cell of the Storage Ring, of how a synchrotron runs.
I felt particularly proud to be able to show the many visitors that a laboratory in the region I was representing was producing science of a calibre that allowed it to take part in the CERN Open Days said Sofian Jafar, a Power Supplies Engineer at SESAME and one of the volunteers manning the SESAME stand.
Ties between CERN and SESAME are particularly close and the European laboratory constantly puts its expertise at the service of SESAME. Through the CESSAMag (CERN-EC Support for SESAME Magnets) project that was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, it led and coordinated construction of the magnets and power supplies of SESAME’s main storage ring. It is one of the Observers on the SESAME Council, and the third and current President of the Council, Rolf Heuer, is a former Director General of CERN as were his two predecessors, Herwig Schopper and Chris Llewellyn Smith.
The SESAME stand, funded by the OPEN SESAME and BEATS projects, two European Union Horizon 2020 projects providing support for SESAME, was organized and manned by CERN, ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) and SESAME.