In August, three KEHS physicists, Blessing, Lucia and Jessica, travelled to Geneva, Switzerland, for five days of all things particle physics at CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. They were joined by three boys from KES, and students from schools across London.
CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a giant ring, 27km in circumference and 100 metres underground. It utilises radio frequency cavities to accelerate two beams of protons at almost the speed of light, while superconducting magnets guide the proton beams around the ring. At four detectors around the accelerator the two beams cross paths, and very high energy collisions result in the production of new particles. Throughout our time at the facility we were looked after by a group of PhD students from the University of Liverpool, who delivered lectures, led us on tours and supervised us in workshops.
One of the highlights of the trip was designing our own large scale particle physics experiment. We used the physics that we learnt throughout the course of the week to envisage the future of nuclear research. Aside from the fascinating physics, we also had the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Geneva, go for evening swims in the lake and take late night walks in the old town. We all found the experience thoroughly enjoyable, educating and inspiring. We would like to thank Dr Follows and Dr Galloni for the hours of work they put into organising the trip and looking after our welfare.