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Day trip to Switzerland

Fourteen intrepid Year 13 physicists left Eastbourne very early in the morning to start their day trip to The European Organisation for Nuclear Research at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), in Geneva. The objective of the visit was to gain an insight into the work being done at CERN, and in particular the work being done using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its focus is fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of nature. The facility was created in 1954 as a result of the scientific and financial collaboration of the European member states. Up to 10,000 scientists work at CERN at any one time and the scale of the site is impressive as it straddles the countries of Switzerland and France. It is a town within a city, with its own infrastructure and amenities.

During the morning the Eastbourne College group learned about the research which has been undertaken at CERN since 1954 and after lunch, visited the LHCb – an experiment set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang.

The final stop of the day was at the the CERN Engineering Department. This is where the colossal task of developing the engineering competences, infrastructure systems and technical coordination required for safe operation of the facility takes place.

After a very full and incredibly fascinating day, the pupils arrived back in Eastbourne at 2.00am the next day.

To learn more about the physics department at Eastbourne College, please click here.