School News

U6 Physics Trip to CERN

On Thursday 17 September, 13 Sixth Form students along with 3 Physics teachers set off to the ‘European Organization for Nuclear Research’ (CERN) in Geneva.


After a train, plane, train and tram, we arrived at our youth hostel. Soon after our arrival, we set off for a walk along Lake Geneva, seeing the world’s tallest fountains, Jet d’Eau, which is over 140m tall!

Our trip included a tour of the UN “Palace of the Nations” site, where we saw some of the massive meeting rooms; international gifts from all over the world and even had the chance to watch part of a Human Rights meeting going on – before dodging a protest outside the UN gates. Visiting CERN was equally as exciting and after having a very detailed talk about CERN and its history, we visited the Antimatter Factory with our guide, who made our tour very memorable. He then took us to the Datacenter where we saw just how much room is needed to store all the data recorded (1,048,576 GB per day) and how this is made possible. We also went to the detector graveyard where we had the chance to see some old machines that have been used to accelerate and track particles, one of which was called the flip-flop. At the Microcosm Exhibition there was a really clever illusion made with mirrors which showed you just how big the CMS detector was – 21m x 15m roughly weighing the same as two Eiffel towers or 14000 tons.

Before returning home we also had a boat cruise on Lake Geneva, and although the weather hadn’t always been great, the sun chose this moment to come out brightly. Our final stop was MEG (Museum Ethnographique Genève) where we could see lots of fascinating ethnic objects before setting off home.

The trip was jam-packed with lots to do, and although it wasn’t a holiday, it really was an amazing trip and I would definitely tell anyone who has the opportunity to go, to take it!

Written by Charlotte Kidd U6

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