CERN and Learn

Following the cancellation of the trip to CERN in Geneva due to the current global pandemic, Lower Sixth physicists recently Zoomed in to a talk with Dr. Mick Storr.

Storr is a long-serving member of the CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) team and the Marlborough College Physics Department have held a number of successful visits in recent years (2019 group pictured above).

The recent Zoom talk covered a broad range of subjects; the science behind what CERN actually does; practicalities such as budget and funding; but also the aims of the organisation, the infrastructure that it has been built upon.

Before this talk I had not gauged the sheer size of operation that CERN is running or how extreme the environments are; thousands of magnets, metres long, are kept at temperatures below that of outer space, particle collisions create temperatures a billion times higher than the heart of the sun, and yet there are no explosions as there is also an ultrahigh vacuum!

I found the format of Dr. Storr’s talk greatly engaging and encouraging, and it led to much audience participation from students and teachers alike. Many ideas were shared, as were thought-provoking questions, such as: why was the large hadron collider built 100m underground and where do CERN actually get the protons from?

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and have a much greater respect for the work done at CERN in return.

Sophia Hamilton (MO L6)

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