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Journey to the Heart of the Matter

19 A’ Level Physics students from Nailsea School Sixth Form flew from Bristol Airport to Geneva, Switzerland this half term for the trip of a lifetime. The students accompanied by their Science teachers Mr Pearson, Mr Deacon and Miss Izzard were taking part on a study visit to CERN.

CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, it is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works. During their visit students explored particle physics, visited an antimatter factory, saw a cloud chamber and learned about the structure of the universe and the fundamental laws of nature.

CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web, it is also home to the Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator on earth. The students had the opportunity to visit the 17 mile tunnel and learn about the future of physics research.

The students, also visited the town of Geneva, where they were able to take in the sights and sample local cuisine. The group of students had all purchased customised hoodies to wear on the trip, each was pale pink with the school logo adopted on the front and a photograph of the science teachers emblazoned on the back. Whilst on the trip this gained them notoriety around CERN with one student from another school commenting ‘Why don’t we get hoodies like that?’

Mr Pearson who led the trip remarked on the excellent conduct of the students and how proud he was of their behaviour and attitude to learning saying:-

“It’s been a really exciting trip, totally eye-opening for the students and such a privilege to visit one of the most renowned physics centres in the world. They [the students] have really seized the opportunity to learn more about the world”.

Students were inspired by the Physicists who gave them a tour of the facility. The tour guides were very candid in their discussions surrounding the work that they were doing, which the students really appreciated.

All-in-all a very worthwhile, exciting and memorable trip.