Top 5 Stocking Stuffers for Scientists: A Plane Ticket to Switzerland

Allison Loudermilk

Will I Am from the Black Eyed Peas has even gotten to see the ATLAS experiment. Seriously. Isn't it about time your scientist got the chance? (Image courtesy The ATLAS Experiment at CERN,

If you're like me, you're not finished with your Christmas shopping yet. So that means our third suggestion isn't coming too late for you. It might even be time to throw the budget out the window and just get the shopping done at any cost. Either way, we have another idea for you, and it should tuck nicely into your scientist's stocking. A plane ticket. But to where?

Where has your kooky physicist been dying to go all year? The Large Hadron Collider of course. Buy him or her a ticket to Geneva, Switzerland. Since the LHC finally came online in 2009, you can no longer check out the ATLAS cavern, as Stephen Hawking and, uh, Will I Am, among others have done. You can, however, visit the ATLAS Visitor Centre, where you can glimpse command central for crashing particles, hunt for some Higgs or attempt to turn yourself into antimatter. It's not quite as good as venturing into the cavern, we know, but you snooze you lose in the world of particle physics. You can book your tour through CERN here.

And, as Robert reminded me, just think who might be on the tour with you. A bird and a baguette. Some Illuminati bent on destruction. Maybe even a bunch of time-travelers in for a visit. C'mon. This gift far beats those cuff links with Bart Simpson's head on them that you've been eyeing.

But we are nothing if not pragmatic, as you can tell, so you could save the plane ticket suggestion for another year. (Please don't resort to squeezing him or her into the wheel well as a stowaway.) Instead, you could opt for the cheaper route and snag this pop-up book of the Atlas Experiment at CERN titled, "Voyage to the Heart of the Matter," by Anton Radevsky and Emma Sanders. I think your scientist would appreciate this coffee table book a whole lot more than, say, "The Coffee Table, Coffee Table Book."

Peruse our other suggestions below and procrastinate to your heart's content.

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