The Physics department has recently returned from our third annual three residential visit to CERN, Geneva. 28 Year 12 physics students enjoyed a highly informative lecture from a CERN physicist and a tour of the CMS detector, one of 4 detectors of the Large Hadron Collider. The tour, led by another CERN physicist, took the students 100m underground to observe the control room from where the data from the proton collisions is analysed. Along the way our CERN physicist was able to explain and demonstrate how the LHC operates and describe how the protons are accelerated to almost the speed of light and made to collide. The students heard first-hand how the Higgs Boson was discovered and its importance in understanding how our Universe began.
We also had the chance to visit the two museums at CERN giving the students a hands on opportunity to understand how the proton beam is controlled and also the other applications and discoveries made at CERN. For example students were given the opportunity to investigate how to destroy a brain tumour using proton beam therapy.
When not visiting CERN our students were able to enjoy the delights of Swiss culture ranging from swimming in the famous Lake Geneva to a free volleyball tournament. Needless to say all the students had a wonderful time and the physics department looks forward to returning next year. Here are a selection of comments from our students.