Year 12 Physicists Trip to CERN

Twenty Year 12 physicists spent a fascinating weekend in a sunny Switzerland visiting the CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) HQ in Geneva.

The main highlight of the trip was touring the anti-matter production site, where scientists investigate how gravity affects different kinds of matter.

The visit also included a delve into Gravitational Behaviour of Antihydrogen at Rest, an analysis of how matter behaves when it isn’t moving. The students saw at close quarters an experiment trapping an antihydrogen particle with strong magnets, then releasing it to record its motion and behaviour under gravity, comparing it to a regular hydrogen particle.

Perfect weather also allowed the students to enjoy a scenic boat trip on Lake Geneva, as well as a visit to the Patek Philippe Watch Museum and the History of Science Museum.

Physics Teacher and trip leader Matthew Hilmer said: “It was a wonderful experience for the Year 12s to visit CERN and see the topics they learn in class stretched and applied in real life. The experiments they observed are essential in our understanding of the universe and the pupils particularly enjoyed learning something beyond their A-Level syllabus. CERN is at the forefront of many scientific discoveries, and these are only a few of the mind-blowing projects being worked on.”

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