During the May half term, thirteen physics students visited CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, based in Geneva, Switzerland. On arrival they visited the Parc Mon Repos, Lake Geneva, the Jet D’eau and the United Nations building.
The second day was spent at CERN where they visited the Microcosm and The Universe of Particles exhibitions and took part in the S-Cool Lab, building cloud chambers and detected exotic particles called muons together with alpha particles, beta particles and learned what the vapour trails can tell us about particle interactions. They also attended a lecture on the Universe of Particles and visited CERN's first particle accelerator, the Synchrocyclotron and visited the ATLAS experiment including the control room where they could see live results from proton-proton collisions.
On the third day, the students visited the Natural History Museum and the History of Science Museum. We enjoyed a meal together before showing our competitive sides by playing giant chess in the Promenade des Bastion. The day was rounded off by a water taxi ride and watching the sunset over Lake Geneva.
Student Hayley Brownless said of her experience, “The best school trip I’ve been on. It was great to socialise with people from different year groups and to see how the things I’ve learnt in A Level physics are used at CERN.” Jonathan Proud, Year 10, said “The fact that we got to learn about cutting edge physics and explore a historic city made the trip amazing”.
The students were a credit to themselves and excellent representatives of the school, and it was a privilege to accompany them on this trip.