Physicists visit CERN
All the current U6 Physicists recently visited CERN (the European Council for Nuclear Research) near Geneva. CERN continues its quest to probe matter and search for rare and exotic particles, some which have not existed anywhere in the universe since the time of the Big Bang. This research not only furthers our understanding of fundamental physics, but pushes the envelope in terms of technology. Our visit took in LHCb, one of the 4 detectors on the LHC, and the one designed to understand better the nature of antimatter and why we now live in a world seemingly composed entirely of matter with no antimatter. We also visited CAST, which is not part of the LHC but directed at our own Sun to detect mysterious particles called axions. We were also invited to see one of CERN’s Linear Accelerators and the Proton Synchrotron, the Computer Centre and CERN’s Magnet Testing Facility.
This was a most fortunate time to visit CERN as the hunt for the Higgs, the God particle, nears a climax, and the prospect of particles exceeding the speed of light, or not, remains a possibility. A Physics visit to Geneva would not be complete without visiting the History of Science Museum and stopping by the United Nations building for the obligatory photo. We took in the old town and had fondue on a cheesy (in more ways than one) night out. There was a boat trip, a rather close encounter with the famous Jet d’Eau, and of course our annual dip in Lake Geneva - all this packed into a long weekend. We hope that everyone enjoyed the visit and found
it rewarding and inspiring.
You can keep up to date with what is happening at CERN at www.cern.ch