CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)

CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)

(Posted on 30/03/17)

CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)

On the 30th of March 2017 thirty students and three members of staff travelled to Geneva, Switzerland for Christleton High School’s inaugural visit to CERN. CERN is at the cutting edge of particle physics research using particle accelerators to smash particles apart, the largest and most powerful accelerator being the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Large Hadron Collider is 27km in diameter and there are four points where experiments are carried out. As the site is so large, one cannot see it all in a single visit alone; hence, we were allocated one site to visit.

We were incredibly fortunate to be allocated a visit to the CMS experiment (Compact Muon Solenoid) where in 2012 The Higgs boson particle was discovered. When we arrived, we discovered that we were going to be allowed to visit the experiment underground. Most visits to CERN are limited to ground level where you normally have to make do with a scale photograph of the detector! It is very rare to be allowed underground and see the detector up close due to radiation levels. As our trip fell during a maintenance period, we were able to see the machine open.

Over and above CERN, we made sure that we enjoyed Geneva. Our activities included a boat trip on the lake; a visit to a Swiss restaurant where two excellent musicians were playing everything from the spoons to a saw; visits to various museums and one of the most memorable was the Red Cross / Crescent Museum near the United Nations. We made sure that we sampled a full range of the local culture and were fully entertained with some genuine comedy moments, one involving a lamp post and both students and staff had a thoroughly enjoyable time. This was best illustrated on the coach back from Manchester airport, when we were treated to a medley of songs. Listening to a rendition of everyone singing ‘Wonderwall’ on the way into Christleton at nearly midnight will be a treasured memory!

Mrs Diane Roberts


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