The Year 13 physicists from JFS enjoyed a visit to CERN recently, accompanied by Mr Davey and Miss Lerner. Based in Geneva, CERN is the largest and most advanced scientific research facility in the world where several Nobel Prize winning discoveries have been made, with a notable recent example being the Higgs’ boson. This was discovered using the large hadron collider (LHC), a particle collider capable of reproducing the conditions found a few seconds after the big bang.
As part of the guided tour, the group were able to see the CERN control centre where the LHC is run from, and also the cryogenic test facility. They were also able to see some of the other experiments being run at CERN, including the live data feed from AMS, a detector attached to the international space station which is looking for dark matter, which is the invisible material that makes up nearly 90% of our galaxy.
A trip to the CERN museum gave students a chance to see the detectors and instrumentation used close up and learn some of the history behind this unique facility, and as can be seen, CERN safety helmets turned out to be a fashionable choice for the day. The visit finished with a quick stop off next to Lake Geneva, before heading back after a long but enjoyable and rewarding day.