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1 October 2016

Pupils Visit CERN – An Eye-Opening Experience!

A brief report on the trip to CERN by Marcello Visco

CERN is the single most convincing human collaboration that I have ever seen. Visiting the site near the beautiful city of Geneva has been an eye-opening experience. We are very lucky to have been able to go on this trip, sponsored by the Joan Sewell Bequest Fund through the King’s College Development Office.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a wonderful machine but there is far more to CERN than just the famous 27km particle accelerating ring. The site is huge, almost a town in its own right.

Our tour of CERN lasted a full day. We were able to see one of the storage facilities for the data produced in experiments, the antimatter factory as well as eating lunch sitting amongst working scientists.

The fact this incredible engineering experiment works is an enormous testament to human progress. I was speechless when I saw the facilities. The amount of computing processing power was mind-boggling. For me, learning about how they produced antimatter was a true highlight; we didn’t even know that antimatter existed, we had mathematical proof but to be able to create it and harness it is incredible.

This trip has really helped to expand my knowledge and interest in particle physics; areas that I was not really drawn to before are now looking very appealing to me. This is something I now wish to explore and would like to learn more about in greater depth.

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