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Kent College students visit CERN, Switzerland

On Monday 3rd November, a group of Kent College sixth formers travelled to Geneva, Switzerland in order to visit CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, to explore the world’s largest particle physics laboratory:

A Kent College student writes:

“We started our visit to CERN with a lecture by Dr Marc Goulette – a particle Physicist working in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider who contributed to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. He introduced us to the science surrounding the high energy proton collisions, and the application of the discoveries they have made to the fields of particle physics, astronomy and the formation of the early universe, as well as medical applications of accelerators and proton beams.
We were then taken across the border into France where we entered the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment, LHCb. This is located 100m underground through an impressive security system.
The huge scale of this world class experiment was truly amazing and we all felt dwarfed in its presence. Another surprise was learning that in particular materials, some of these particles actually travel faster than the speed of light!
After the LHC, we went to the CERN staff restaurant to give us an opportunity to pause and review the morning – and also to absorb the feeling of being surrounded by brilliant minds!
We then visited the Microcosm exhibition which retold the story of CERN’s scientific adventure through multimedia exhibits, actual machines, games and experiments. We learnt about cosmic rays, antiprotons, quarks and gluons and why such massive apparatus is required to study the constituents of matter.
Inside the Globe of Science and Innovation we confronted the great questions of contemporary physics: “where do the particles that make up the universe come from?” and “what laws govern their behaviour?”
eat questions of contemporary physics: “where do the particles that make up the universe come from?” and “what laws govern their behaviour?”

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