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The Hayesbrook School

Physics Students Hunt for the Higgs Boson at CERN

Our A-level Physics students have just returned from an inspiring and fascinating visit to CERN, home of the the Large Hadron Collider.

At the CERN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Students heard first hand about what’s going on at the forefront of physics, and saw the scale of the engineering and technology required to help answer some of the big questions in Science.

Scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson require experimental machines on the large scale, and the students gained an appreciation of the technical and engineering challenges that the multinational experimental collaborations at CERN face.

As well as visiting the data centre, Antimatter factory and building cloud chambers in CERN’s S’Cool Lab, the students were the first group to trial a brand new experiment using quadruple ion traps. An ion trap is a combination of electric or magnetic fields used to capture charged particles.  In CERN, Ion traps are used to capture and trap antimatter.

   

Year 12 Student, Finn O’Beirne, said of the experience: "Seeing the antimatter factory and then having a chance to try out the quadruple ion trap experiment really helped me grasp the Physics involved". 

Trip leader, Mrs Chambers said: "Having a chance to talk to physicists at the forefront of Physics research, who were all so welcoming and helpful, has really inspired our students to consider a career in research."