Girls Visit CERN


This month saw the first of what will become the Partnership CERN trip. Sixth Form physicists from Benenden and The John Wallis Church of England Academy visited the largest particle accelerator on the planet, which spans 27km in both France and Switzerland right by Geneva. The students started making cloud chambers in the CERN S’Cool Lab and saw amazing images of cosmic rays we detected. Students loved this hands-on particle physics and were excited for a full day of activities on Saturday. They then went down 100m to the Large Hadron Collider itself and visited the Compact Muon Solenoid detector – getting right up close since the Collider is currently in the middle of an upgrade so switched off! The afternoon was a rare treat and not a normal part of the CERN visit – the group spent 90 minutes in the Antimatter Factory learning about how they are hoping to see whether antimatter falls under gravity or actually goes up. This was an opportunity for students to touch the cutting edge frontier of research in physics and hear from one of the leading physicists in the world.The next day there was a visit to Geneva tosee the History of Science Museum and the view from the top of the Cathedral. It was a fabulous trip and as well as the particles being accelerated and excited, all the students were too!