After many weeks of excited anticipation 20 U6 Physics student entered Gatwick bound for Geneva. Alongside the main event of visiting CERN, home of the world’s largest physics experiment (the Large Hadron Collider)… we visited the United Nations, the International Red Cross and International Telegraph Union. After landing and a spot of sightseeing we were all treated to an excellent tour of the Geneva office of the UN. Highlighting how the UN works the students got to sit in the seats where many of the world’s treaties were thrashed out. One of the most “memorable” parts of the trip was our evening meal in the cellar of the Edelweiss Hotel, a full fondue meal whilst being serenaded by a Swiss folk band and Karaoke alpine horn playing.
We spent the whole of the second day in the CERN complex visiting the Super-Conducting Magnet Test Facility and ATLAS Control Centre, where we saw first-hand the staggering scale and complexity of the experiments. We were also treated to a VIP Q&A session with Pippa Wells (ATLAS Detector Project Leader) who alongside some of her colleagues answered the many questions our students had about the Physics of CERN and about careers in top level research.
Our final day allowed some sightseeing with a challenging tour of the international Red Cross Museum and a slightly more light-hearted look at the history of Communications at ITU. Sitting in the Departures lounge of Geneva airport there was unanimous agreement that it had been an enjoyable and packed 3 days.