13 November 2023

Switzerland study trip to Geneva

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Over the October half-term break, 33 Year 13 physicists travelled to Geneva. Their first activity was a tour of the city, focusing on how Switzerland harnesses natural resources to generate electricity and how buildings are now being designed to minimise their reliance on precious resources.

They also visited the United Nations Headquarters and the International Red Cross museum to discover more about the work of these organisations. The University of Geneva invited them to have a lesson on advanced mechanics, and students were able to experience almost zero friction by using a chair that hovered on super-cooled magnets and build a pulley system that could lift one of them off the ground.

The highlight of the trip was the visit to CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The students explored the brand new exhibitions and hands-on activities. They also had the opportunity to see ALICE, one of the Large Hadron Collider’s four main particle detectors, and the central control room, where the 27 km long scientific instrument is run from.

After some time to explore the city, traditional Swiss meals and two evening talks from a CERN scientist and a PHD student, they returned to Sevenoaks tired but far more knowledgeable about the huge impact that CERN has had in the realm of Particle Physics. For many, it will have been their last ever school trip and hopefully one they will look back on very fondly.

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