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The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

Physics at CERN

The visit to CERN, Switzerland 'completely changed the way I think...'

At the start of the Christmas holidays, a group made up of year 11, 12 and 13 physics students along with six members of the science department travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to visit the CERN particle detectors. Whilst there, we got the opportunity to further expand our knowledge of particle physics through talking to two of the physicists currently working there as well as taking a guided tour around parts of CERN which included travelling 100 meters underground in hard hats to visit one of the main particle detectors, CMS.

As well as this, we were given the chance to explore Geneva’s Christmas market, its underground shopping centre and the History of Science museum. It was really interesting to see how different the Swiss culture is compared to our own, even if a great deal of us chose to eat at McDonalds on the last day.

I learned a lot of things during my time in Switzerland: how little we know about our universe, how much physics affects our daily lives and that Mr Davies is an Imagine Dragons fan, who knew?!

It was definitely a memorable trip and it has completely changed the way I think about aspects of life in terms of the science behind every single thing, especially because, as Ernest Rutherford once said, “all science is either physics or stamp collecting”.

Emma Kenny