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Students & Staff visit CERN in Switzerland

On Friday 29th November a group of students and staff, visited CERN in Switzerland.  The visit was part of the group’s recent A Level studies in Particle Physics and the team were given the opportunity to tour part of the scientific complex and see the science behind how the experiments work.

CERN is a multinational organisation consisting of scientists from over 30 different countries and it has been at the forefront of scientific research for the last 60 years.  The World Wide Web was created at CERN by Sir Tim Berners- Lee in 1989 and, more recently, the centre has claimed discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, a sub-atomic particle more widely known by its nickname of “The God Particle”.  

During their tour, the students were able to ask a number of questions to current CERN employees about their research and visit the control room of the ALICE experiment, an experiment currently investigating the conditions that would have existed in the first few fractions of a second immediately after the Big Bang happened around 14 billion years ago.  The students also saw how the particle accelerators at CERN are constructed and how the current research being conducted there is helping to enhance our knowledge of the building blocks of life.  Year 13 student Heather Hallet said “CERN is at the forefront of scientific advancement, making it the most exciting place for a young scientist to visit” while another year 13 student and head boy of The Weald, Rob Wescott, said “this visit has opened my eyes to the intriguing world of Particle Physics and answered a range of questions I had about scientific research”.

The trip was organised by the Physics Department as part of their school-wide Enrichment Day.  Will Richards, Physics teacher and trip leader, said “we were really pleased to be given the opportunity to visit CERN this November.  Having just completed A Level studies on Particle Physics, this trip coincided perfectly with the material our students have just been taught and really brought their learning to life.  CERN is possibly the most famous scientific research establishment in the world today and they are consistently pushing back the boundaries of what we understand about the universe and it was a real privilege for us to be able to visit.”