Review: Physics Trip to CERN

Category: Academic, General, Trips

From Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th March pupils studying A level Physics embarked on a journey to Geneva, Switzerland to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and other activities.

The first day saw the group leaving early from Gatwick airport, arriving in Switzerland in the morning and checking in to the hostel in central Geneva.  We had a leisurely stroll around the botanical gardens before heading to the United Nations.  Outside the Palace of Nations (officially the United Nations Office at Geneva) is a giant chair with one broken leg, symbolising the opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, a reminder to everyone who goes to the UN office of how conflict was dealt with in the past, and how we must not repeat history.  We then had a wonderful tour of the United Nations.  Supper that evening was at a Swiss restaurant before getting some well-earned rest.

The second day of our trip was spent at CERN.  We had a tour in the morning and our group was taken underground to the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment.  We then visited the synchrocyclotron and had a tour round this.  During the afternoon we had a fascinating visit to the Swiss Plasma Centre where they are researching fusion and developing this into an energy source.  Our evening was spent at a bowling alley and then having a delicious supper of pizza.

Our final day started with a tour of the jet d’eau on Lake Geneva.  We had a tour around the engine room of this remarkable land mark and then switched the jet of water on at 10am.  We then went back to CERN to build cloud chambers (a type of particle detector).  We were given an interesting talk about the types of particles we were seeing and also the types of experiments taking place at CERN.  We then travelled to the airport and took our flight back.  We were all exhausted after a busy three days.

Jennifer Lane
Physics beak

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