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Richmond Park students hunt for the Higgs boson at CERN

posted 22 May 2018, 06:22 by Michele Colt   [ updated 22 May 2018, 06:43 ]
Students from Richmond Park academy have been inspired by a visit to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider. 
During the visit on 3rd-5th May, the students discovered how CERN is helping to answer some of the most fundamental questions; how did the Universe begin? What are the basic building blocks of matter? 

Scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson require experimental machines on the large scale, and the students gained an appreciation of the technical and engineering challenges that the multinational experimental collaborations at CERN face. Kaine said, ‘The visit was inspiring and has made me reinvigorated with Physics. I am now considering studying particle physics at university. 

Ms Swift said how much she enjoyed the visit to CERN “Having the opportunity to visit the ATLAS experiment and see the control room whilst the LHC was in operation was fascinating. However, the highlight was viewing the now retired, synchrocyclotron. Some of the most impressive interactives and displays I have ever seen. Even got to see Giuseppe and Maria Fidecaro. They have been working at CERN for 64 years and discovered that pions decay into an electron and a neutrino using the synchrocyclotron.“

The UK has been a member of CERN since the organisation was founded in 1954.  Membership allows British researchers to take a wide variety of roles that contribute to CERN’s on-going success; from recently qualified technicians and university undergraduates gaining their first taste of working in an international environment to PhD students analysing experimental data and experienced engineers and physicists leading projects or representing their experimental collaborations.  The Richmond Park students’ visit was led by a member of the CERN community who talked from personal experience about their contribution to CERN’s research programme.

STFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brian Bowsher 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.”

Students also visited the United Nations in Geneva and learned about the history of the UN and the specific work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and
United Nations Human Rights Council. We also visited the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development chambers and learned about the World Health Organization.