June 3, 2014 12:24 pm
News of an amazing trip deep under the Swiss Alps
Over half term, two members of the Science department had the opportunity to visit the CERN research centre to see the world’s largest and most complex scientific equipment being used to answer some of the big questions in Science, questions such as ‘What is the origin of the Universe?’ and ‘What are the fundamental particles?’ Scientists from 85 different countries covering every continent in the world (other than Antarctica) are working collaboratively to answer these questions and many more. Using large particle accelerators, protons are being accelerated very close to the speed of light and are then made to collide head-on in order to investigate the composition and energies of different matter. Mrs Kaur and Mr Naeem spent four days at the site visiting the various particle accelerators from the very small (which is still the size of your average school hall!) to the largest which spans 27km in diameter running under two countries, Switzerland and France. They were introduced to the many people working at the site and given an insight into the various roles within the facility. They were also introduced to the technologies being developed at CERN, such as hadron therapy, which is attempting to tackle major health problems such as cancer.Some interesting facts about the particle accelerators at CERN: • The central part of the largest accelerator, LHC, will be the world’s largest fridge at a temperature colder than deep outer space making it the coldest place in the universe! • Each proton once fully accelerated will travel around the 27km ring more than 11,000 times per second. • The data recorded by each of the big experiments will be enough to fill around 100,000 dual layer, single-sided DVDs every year.