Physics Trip to CERN
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
On the last weekend in April, 14 Lower Sixth Physics students and 3 staff travelled to Geneva to visit CERN.
Whilst you cannot get down into the tunnel as the LHC is operational we did have the opportunity to go underground to visit the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) site. CERN is an inspirational place not just in terms of the Physics but also because of the human endeavour and multinational collaboration that has been involved in its construction and we all enjoyed our visit.
In addition our group also visited the UN buildings in Geneva where we learnt in more detail about the history and work of the UN.
By Mrs L Bradshaw, Teacher of Physics
Trip Report from a pupil perspective
On Friday 27th April, 14 enthusiastic Lower Sixth Physicists accompanied by Mrs Bradshaw, Dr Maisey and Mrs Senn set off for Geneva on a short break to explore CERN – home to the world's largest Physics experiment. Whilst there we hoped to gain insight into the work of particle physicists as well as appreciate the ongoing research that they conduct daily. In between travelling 100 metres underground to be met with flashing lights and magnetic walls and purchasing an array of goods from the gift shop, we also managed to visit the Palais des Nations, home to the United Nations Office at Geneva, and find the time to enjoy ice-cream by the lakeside, all before we had to return back to Manchester on Sunday.
An early morning 7am start was greeted by sleepy faces and infectious yawning, but as we journeyed via tram to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (aka CERN) we all gradually warmed up back to our energetic selves. Arriving at the headquarters, we were given a short introduction to CERN and of its history, which was followed by an interesting and informative tour. At the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment, one of the four main particle detectors around the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), we descended underground towards the 27 km ring-shaped particle accelerator. Confronted by the sheer scale of the experiment, we acknowledged the LHC as the great engineering feat that it is. We concluded our day at CERN by visiting a Microcosm exhibition, which told the story of CERN's scientific adventure through interactive displays and scale models. We also, naturally, took time to visit the gift shop once again.
The United Nations Office was easily recognisable by the 193 flags flying outside the main building. From the multicoloured cave-like ceiling in one conference room, to the many paintings donated by countries that decorated the walls, we appreciated the building's impressive art collection. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, our tour emphasised the importance of the diplomats' work in maintaining friendly relations worldwide.
Although our trip to Geneva was short, everyone gained a deeper understanding into the strange world of particle physics whilst having an enjoyable time.
By Carmen Lau, Lower Sixth