Venturing into the unknown at CERN

YOUNG physicists have visited two centres of science excellence in recent months to enhance their understanding and life experiences.

Physics students from Priestley College travelled to Geneva to visit CERN – the birthplace of the world wide web – while another trip closer to home saw them take part in a masterclass at Daresbury Laboratory.

“At CERN we were given access to a restricted area and allowed to walk alongside the particle accelerator used in current experiments with antimatter,” said Damien Dooley, a former Sir Thomas Boteler pupil.

“It was an invaluable experience to see in person something that has played such a huge role in scientific research.”

CERN is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. It hosts a large computing facility, which is used to store and analyse data from experiments, as well as simulate events.

Back in Warrington, 17 students attended a nuclear physics masterclass at Daresbury Laboratory where they took part in workshops and lectures led by the universities of York and Glasgow.

From the day it opened in 1962, Daresbury Laboratory has pushed the boundaries of modern science and is internationally recognised for world leading scientific excellence in a diverse variety of fields.

During their masterclass students were given careers advice by PhD students and apprentices before taking part in a nuclear physics quiz, which saw Sean Morris win a signed copy of Jim Al-Khalili’s book Quantum Mechanics.

“What made it even better was our Physics teacher was tweeting about our progress throughout the day and we got a reply from Jim congratulating me on winning his book,” said Sean, a former Birchwood High School pupil.