CERN visit from a BGS student's perspective

CERN visit from a BGS student's perspective

By Sixth Form student Lucy Jackson

On Tuesday 13th March, 10 A-level physics students visited the Large Hadron Collider which is located at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

The group received a talk on the history and aims of CERN, which is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. It was amazing to see first hand the ATLAS control room. For those non-physics geeks ATLAS is the massive underground particle detector located at CERN.

While the ATLAS detector is located in Switzerland the large circular tunnel that is the particle accelerator has a circumference of 27 kilometers (17 miles) and stretches across the border into France. Part of our visit involved us crossing the border to see the cryogenics lab.

Seeing the LHC and all the science being undertaken at CERN was very inspiring and relevant to our A level studies. It showed how what we are currently learning is relevant in this area of ground-breaking science.

During the visit we also saw a 3D film about the building of ATLAS over a period of 30 years at a cost of 4.6 billion euros. This was a massive engineering challenge.

We were proud to acknowledge the involvement of British scientists in this project, in particular Peter Higgs who received the Nobel prize for physics in 2013 for the prediction and subsequent proof at CERN that the Higgs Boson particle exists.

The trip, which took place over three days, allowed time to experience the sites of Geneva. We enjoyed a boat trip on Lake Geneva, a guided tour of the city and got to sit on the world’s longest public bench!

Of course any trip to Switzerland would not be complete without chocolate and so shopping was a must.

Thanks to Mrs. Nicholls and Mr. Curry for a wonderful trip.