CERN visit acellerates Rugby High students' love of physics - The Rugby Observer

CERN visit acellerates Rugby High students' love of physics

A FIELD trip to Switzerland has accelerated Rugby students’ love of physics.

Rugby High School pupils visited CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider – which at 27 miles in circumference is the world’s largest particle accelerator – where physicists try to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson – a particle smaller than an atom – require experimental machines on the large scale, and pupils gained an appreciation of the technical and engineering challenges faced by CERN.

Jasmine Simms, who hopes to make particle physics her career said: “Meeting the research scientists was a real highlight. With the more powerful machine, they are hoping to detect dark matter, which will help explain the behaviour of the galaxies and ultimately, the fate of our universe. I’d love to work there one day.”

Year 13 student Eva Woodbridge said: “It was brilliant to visit after studying Particle Physics at A-level as it made what we were seeing much more understandable and was fascinating to see the real thing after previously seeing images in books and online.”

The name CERN is derived from the acronym for the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, and was founded in 1954.

Researchers – including those from the UK – take a wide variety of roles from technicians and undergraduates to PhD students and engineers and physicists.

The Rugby High visit was led by a member of CERN who talked from personal experience about their contribution to its research programme.

Chief Executive Officer Professor John Womersley said: “The scale of the science and technology at CERN is awe-inspiring. There is no doubt that seeing it at first hand, and meeting the people who work on the experiments, can influence young people’s future education and career choices. My own research career began at CERN and I continue to be fascinated by its discoveries.”

Head of Physics at the school, Susan Mighall described the trip as inspiring, and revealed the school had a record number of girls studying physics at A-level this year.


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