RECORD NUMBER OF VISITORS AT THE ALBA OPEN DAY

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The ALBA Open Day, held last Saturday 5 May, received 2,321 visitors who could discover how this scientific facility works and what its main applications are.

Cerdanyola del Vallès, 7 May 2018. Despite again this year the rain was present in its seventh celebration, the ALBA Open Day welcomed a record number of visitors: 2,321 people.

From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., more than 100 volunteers, members of the ALBA staff, showed the facilities to the attendees and explained them the operation and characteristics of the electron accelerators' complex, aimed at producing synchrotron light for analysing the properties of matter.

The event followed a free itinerary where visitors were able to see the devices where the electrons pass through or those used for manipulating the synchrotron light, to participate in fun demonstrations to know more about concepts like vacuum or pressure, microscopy or spectroscopy. New this year, the ALBA Open Day hosted an exhibition to highlight the role of women in science as well as an art exhibition on pinhole photography and solarigraphy, images taken with cans and that collect the trajectory of Sun, respectively. The area devoted to the youngest was also very crowded with experiments and activities for them. Besides, three conferences were given about particle accelerators (Caterina Biscari, director of ALBA), how synchrotron light is generated (Pep Campmany, researcher responsible of the insertion devices section) and why a synchrotron facility is a useful tool (Miguel Ángel García Aranda, scientific director).

One more year, the ALBA Open Day counted on the support of the volunteers from the Emergency Radio Network of Cerdanyola del Vallès (REMER), who ensured the correct outcome of the event.

"Opening our doors to the general public and discovering their enthusiasm and interest is a great reward for our work and an extra motivation to continue with the same strength and responsibility", according to Caterina Biscari, director of the ALBA Synchrotron.

The social network accounts of ALBA in Twitter and Instagram were very active with many images and comments from visitors, under the label #ALBAOpenDay, that were visible in the different monitors placed in the building An audio guide in Spanish and Catalan was also very popular among visitors, offering complementary information to the visit.

The ALBA Synchrotron has developed an outreach program, which includes the organization of the ALBA Open Day as well as guided tours inside the facility. Both activities welcome more than 6,500 visitors every year.

The ALBA Open Day was organized with the support of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), La Caixa Foundation, the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Catalan Government.

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