In November 2018, an inquisitive group of 19, from Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar School's Physics department, travelled to Geneva for 3 days to visit CERN, the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire.
Being TCBC's inaugural CERN tour, Dan Hornby, our Director, and Tatyana Dunicheva, our Geneva specialist, accompanied the group to experience the tour first hand.
The group stayed at the well-located Geneva Hostel, just a few minutes walk from the shoreline of stunning Lake Geneva, with the Alps and Mont Blanc dominating the skyline in the background.
The group arrived mid afternoon on Day 1 and managed to fit in an informative walking tour of the International District. They were able to see and learn more about the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the International Red Cross and Unicef and understand why Geneva in particular is home to so many such organisations.
The group woke excited on Day 2. This was the full day visit to CERN, a 30 minute tram ride west of Geneva. The morning was taken up with two excellent exhibitions - the Universe of Particles and the Microcosm.
After a hearty lunch at the CERN cafeteria, the group crossed the border into France by coach to visit SM18, a world-leading test facility for superconducting magnets.
Here they saw an exact replica of a portion of the 27km long tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider and learnt more about the magnetic forces which power the particles through the tubes to eventually collide them together at 4 designated points. It was fascinating to note that cameras capture these collisions at 4 million images a second!
Later on, the group returned to Switzerland to visit the Synchrocyclotron - CERN’s first ever particle accelerator.
Seeing the whole facility in person made understanding the scope of CERN's projects and processes much clearer and is invaluable for these students' future studies.
On departure day, the group enjoyed a walk along the lakeside to visit the History of Science Museum before heading to the airport for their flight home.
James Nelms, the Group leader, said:
"Seeing the work going on at CERN was extremely useful for both the students and staff and has allowed our students to understand much more fully the standard model of particles which make up our entire universe and give careers insight which has inspired some to want to work within this sector.
The learning goals for the students have been exceeded in several ways on this trip and it was great for me personally, as their teacher, to witness students really engaging first hand with some very difficult subjects.
This is a trip which will inspire the students for years to come and directly influence sixth form teaching for our most able students. Many thanks to everyone at TCBC."
For more information on our tours to Geneva and our school trips to CERN, please visit the tour page or contact us here