St Albans students collide with particle physics

Hadron Collider visit aims to inspire St Albans School pupils to careers in physics and engineering

Physics students from St Albans School recently visited CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, to quiz scientists and engineers about the famous Large Hadron Collider and learn more about the development of particle physics.

A group of 40 students and staff travelled to Geneva to visit first the United Nations (UN) and observe delegates debating the crisis in Syria, a debate transmitted live on the BBC.

They subsequently journeyed from the UN to CERN, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research, to visit the magnet testing facility and various control rooms. A particular highlight was learning more about the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a detector looking for cosmic rays from space that resides on the International Space Station. 

Jonathan Gillespie, Headmaster at St Albans School, says students are beginning to think seriously about their higher education, so the timing of the trip could not have been better: “Physics is an extremely important subject and very popular at the school with 120 students taking physics at A-level in both year groups. 

“Overall the visit was a great success. It sparked considerable interest among the students and will now become an annual fixture in the school calendar.” 

www.st-albans.herts.sch.uk

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