IET supports student trip to CERN

23 July 2012
University of Sheffield students visit CERN

After months of planning, 98 students from the University of Sheffield travelled across Europe to see the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva

Back in April, the 98 University of Sheffield students travelled across Europe to see the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Geneva’s European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN).

A joint venture by the IET and the University’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering Society and the Physics Society, the group first had a day in Annecy, France, to rest up before two full days at the CERN facility.

During their free day, some of the students travelled to nearby ski resort Le Grand Bornand, while others hired bicycles and toured Lake Annecy and the surrounding towns. The reward at the end of this 40km bike ride was a picturesque view of Taillores and Annecy from the elevated eastern bank. During the evening, student explored the historic Old Town, sampling local cuisine such as Fondue and Tartiflette.

The following two days were spent at CERN, where the group met Mick Storr, head of visits service for CERN. He, together with some of the scientists currently conducting experiments using the LHC, gave the students a tour of the facility. They also saw the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and A Toroidal Lhc ApparatuS (ATLAS) detectors, and SM18, where superconducting magnets are trained for use within the LHC. The group also had the privilege of seeing an Anti-Hydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS), an apparatus conducting particle physics experiments with anti-matter.

Commenting on the visit, Graham Goldberg, co-chair of the South Yorkshire Young Professionals, added: “We were also able to spend a few hours in Geneva, Switzerland, following the first day at CERN. This allowed those attending to see the United Nations Office Geneva (UNOG) at the Palais des Nations, which is a beautiful building. Directly opposite the UNOG is a statue of a chair with a missing leg. This is to symbolise opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and is deliberately placed to obtain the maximum exposure among politicians.”

“On our return to England it was reported that during our time at the CERN facility they had broken previous records to achieve collisions of 8 Tera Electron Volts (TeV), a 1TeV increase. This energy level is closer to the region that scientists believe evidence of the Higgs Boson can be found, but the planned upgrades are still going ahead next year to increase the collisions to 14TeV, so for now we will just have to wait and wonder.”

“The trip was a great success, made possible thanks to support from the IET, the University of Sheffield Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department and Fierce Monkey Custom Clothing.”

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[Since this article went to press in Member News it has, of course, been widely reported across the media that CERN scientists have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs Boson, the so-called ‘God particle’.]

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