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04 March 2018

A-Level   /   News

CERN Trip 26th-28th February 2018

Thirteen students from the Science department of Chelsea Independent College had an inspiring visit to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. They were accompanied by Dr Andrew Miller, Mr Cesar Gonsalez and Ms Natasha Ketter.

Write up by student Leopold Schlemmer

When asked what CERN means and what it represents, many people would tell you that it is a centre of research, a place that is filled with scientists knowing a lot about new particles and how the universe around us works. However, upon our arrival at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), all of our views on physics, as a group in general, changed. The truth is we have just started exploring how our universe works and even the best physicists are sometimes wrong about the fundamental theories making up our universe. This is what we got told the moment we arrived at CERN and entered the ‘Globe’, a museum of all accomplishments made by CERN. “For thousands of years mankind has been wondering about the most important questions”, the speaker inside the Globe Museum made clear. CERN was built to change the way we look at the universe, in order to answer these questions.

Later on we were allowed to enter the ATLAS building, which was one of the seven big experiments conducted at CERN. Our guide, a scientist from the site, told us various things about the working of the particle accelerator and the discovery of various particle species. In order to make these particles collide with each other, a lot of money had to be spent, and 26 member states had to work together. CERN is not only important for science but also for diplomacy! Standing next to such a huge project made the whole group feel small and proud of politics, countries and scientists. In 2012 one major particle was discovered by CERN: the Higgs Boson, which had already been theorised by Higgs and a few other scientists in 1964. In my opinion, CERN will bring us much closer to the fundamental questions of the universe and bind us together as mankind, because we will only find these answers if we work together.

Although it was freezing cold in Geneva, the home of CERN, our whole group enjoyed the trip.

As well as the intellectual enlightenment, we also had a full day of sight-seeing and shopping in the scenic city of Geneva.

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