An action packed trip to Cern for science students

Over half term, 23 A-level Physics students, two A-level Chemistry students and three Science teachers went on the annual Physics Department trip to CERN.

The whole group enjoyed glorious autumn sunshine as they explored Geneva and the surrounding countryside, but the highlight was as ever the tour of the world-renowned particle physics laboratory.

With the Large Hadron Collider in the middle of a two-year shutdown for upgrades, the students were treated to an up-close look at CMS, the Compact Muon Solenoid, which is one of the two giant detectors that confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson.

“CERN and the CMS detector had lots of information about high level physics concepts which were new to lots of us,” said year 13 Physics student Ben Hall.

The students also toured the Red Cross Museum, learning about the history and purpose of the famous international aid organisation, and the United Nations Office in Geneva, where the guide revealed how many different ways the UN is involved in humanitarian actions and the everyday lives of people in the United Kingdom.

The whirlwind three-day visit concluded with a cable-car trip up Mount Saleve, with its panoramic views over Geneva and its lake in one direction and of Mont Blanc and the Alps in the other, and a boat tour of Lake Geneva.

“The cable car was fun and the views were amazing. I also enjoyed exploring Geneva during free time,” said A-level Physics student Eisha Patankar.

“I hope the students are inspired by the visit to CERN, which is a truly amazing project of global significance, but even more I hope that they appreciate the international spirit of Geneva, which CERN reflects along with the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many other institutions,” said Mr van Dyk, who as Head of Physics has lead four A-level trips to CERN.

Reported by Mr van Dyk, Subject Leader Physics.