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CERN trip brings Physics to life

CERN and the Palais des Nations impressed inquisitive physicists during an enlightening trip to Geneva, Switzerland.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is a research organisation that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research.

During their visit, pupils were given a fascinating talk about how the centre operates day-to-day, they learnt about the different projects that are carried out there and took part in a tour – which even included crossing the border into France.

After leaving CERN they had some free time to explore, played a spot of football and chilled around the city’s landmark water jets!

Dinner saw the group experience the delights of Swiss cuisine with three courses of fondue to the sounds of traditional Swiss music. The pupils also took turns trying to play the alphorn – a labrophone that consists of a straight several-meter-long wooden natural horn of conical bore with a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece.

The next day the pupils visited the Palais des Nations, the home of the United Nations Office. The structure was built between 1929 and 1938 to serve as the headquarters of the League of Nations and it has served as the home of the United Nations Office since 1946 when the Secretary-General of the United Nations signed a Headquarters Agreement with the Swiss authorities.

The group were wowed by the history and splendour of the venue and whilst sitting in the conference room, they could vividly picture diplomats from all over the world coming together and putting aside their differences to discuss serious issues.

Oliver Grundy said: “I really enjoyed the CERN Trip and the tour guides were so passionate. If I didn’t already know it, I definitely learned that Physics is for me! The UN building was also really fun – the artwork, style and the famous broken chair sculpture were great to see.”

Jacob Noakes added: “My favourite bit was seeing the inside of the machinery at CERN. It was interesting and insightful to see what happens and great to experience it first-hand. It really brought Physics to life.

“I would recommend the trip to everyone as it helps with your understanding of the subject and the course.”