Students from Priestley College headed to CERN in Switzerland where they were taken underground to see the detector that gathered some of the data that helped reveal the particle.
Among them was Jack Rookes, from Garwood Close in Westbrook, who also spent a week during his summer holidays working at the Daresbury Laboratory.
“When you get to CERN it is just immense,” said Jack, who is 17. “It is so inspiring to see how all those people have come together and what they have achieved.”
Physicists and engineers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are probing the fundamental structure of the universe.
They use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles.
The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light, which gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.
“It was exceptional access and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students,” said Deb Pressage, Head of Science at Priestley.
“It was inspirational to visit a place that has enjoyed a role in such major scientific discoveries that have either changed our lives or our understanding of the world in which we live.”
Jack, who is studying A Levels in Physics, Maths and Further Maths as well as the Extended Project, also spent a week at Daresbury Laboratory after setting up some work experience during the summer.
He spent time using their 3D printer technology and with nuclear physicists as he broadened his knowledge ahead of a career in science.
“I want to work in science because there are always going to be new things to discover,” he said.