Last Thursday, 17 Year 12 and Year 13 Physics students embarked on a journey to boldly go where no Highcliffe student has gone before! With Covid restrictions finally behind us, we set off for an adventure that took us to the snowy shores of Lake Geneva, destination CERN and the world-famous Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is a 27km particle accelerator built 100m below the surface of France and Switzerland just outside of Geneva. By accelerating particles to within a fraction of a fraction of the speed of light and then colliding them they have been able to gain a greater understanding of the building blocks of our Universe, gain insight into the earliest stages after the Big Bang and discover new and exciting particles – such as the elusive Higgs Boson which was discovered at CERN in 2012.
Having immersed ourselves in the Swiss culture on our arrival evening with a Swiss fondue and a little touch of yodeling and Alpine Horn, we all set off for CERN the following day. We visited the amazing Universe of Particles exhibition and had lunch in the main canteen surrounded by scientists from all over the world, collaborating on some of the most cutting-edge projects being undertaken at this time. We then met our guide for our tour of the Synchrocyclotron and the ATLAS project. Our guide was a theoretical particle physicist, currently working on the ATLAS project. His knowledge was awe inspiring, but he made us so welcome and explained everything so clearly. With heads spinning we finished our tour where our lovely host said that he hoped to welcome some of our students in the future as members of the 3000 strong team of scientists, mathematicians and engineers that work there. A Highcliffe Nobel Prize winner is surely only a matter of time! It was an inspiring and slightly surreal experience, definitely a day to remember.
After a brief, and very chilly morning spent experiencing the somewhat shocking cost of prices in the shops of Geneva, which could only be relieved by large quantities of Swiss chocolate, we reluctantly left this beautiful city and made our way home.
All of our students were outstanding and a credit to
the school and I would also like to thank our fabulous Physics technician, Toby
Nash, who came with me and helped our safe navigation of the planes, trains,
trams and routes of Geneva.
Owned by: | Last Published: 30/01/2023 10:51:40 | Next Update: N/A