By Faizah Kamal
Physics students were inspired to visit Switzerland and discover how exactly the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is helping to answer the world’s most important questions.
The students took a journey to the CERN institution in Switzerland to see the “awe-inspiring” Higgs Boson, discovered in 2012. Switzerland is also home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most powerful particle collider.
Scientific breakthroughs require a variety of people with different roles to complete. British researchers have an immense variety of roles which contribute to CERN’s continuing achievements. Recently qualified technicians and university undergraduates can gain their first taste of working in an international environment. PhD students can analyse experimental data to find new and exciting discoveries which have the potential to change the world. Scientific breakthroughs and recent discoveries require hard work and commitment. The students witnessed this first hand when they visited the facility and gained an appreciation into the technical and engineering challenges that the technicians at CERN face when handling large scale machinery. They also observed how these professionals make life changing discoveries such as the Higgs Boson.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Brian Bowsher stated, “The scale of science and technology at CERN is awe-inspiring. There is no doubt that seeing it at first hand, and meeting the people who work on the experiments, can influence young people’s future education and career choices.”
The adventure into physics was led by a member of the CERN community. They told students about their personal involvements and impact towards the research programmes. Students were given a sample of what to expect if they wanted to pursue a similar career in the future.
The UK was one of the founding member states of CERN in 1954. Since then universities from around the UK have been committed to research that is helping us find out more about our universe.