Physicists from our sixth form had the privilege of enjoying an extensive tour of Cern, the home of the Large Hadron Collider, in Geneva before the end of the school year.
The famous Large Hadron Collider, where a Higgs boson-like particle was discovered last year, is in scheduled shutdown until June 2015, which allowed our team to go underground to see the Compact Muon Solenoid – one of the four detectors in which protons travelling at over 99.99% of the speed of light smash into one another.
Seeing the detector so close-up meant our pupils could admire the incredible engineering behind one of the largest and most complex experimental facilities ever built. But this wasn’t the only rare privilege our pupils enjoyed as, after lunch, school governor Professor John Dainton gave them an in-depth tour of the NA62 experiment.
Professor Dainton is working on NA62 – another particle experiment – which is currently being assembled in preparation for operation next year, and he gave our physicists the honour of a close look and a clear explanation of the project’s aims and how it will work.
After such an amazing day of physics, there was still time for our pupils to see Cern’s Microcosm museum and explore Geneva before jetting home the next day in time for the final few days of the school term.