Despite a very busy month for Y13 teachers (finishing the syllabus, preparing for mock exams, submitting extended essays to the IB, standardizing internal assessments, etc), the Physics department has always stressed the importance of experiential learning, especially after finishing the nuclear / particle physics topic. The third annual trip to the World’s largest particle accelerator CERN, in Geneva, was another great success due to the varied and balanced programme, but also due to the amazing group of students selected for this trip.
This year, from 17 - 19 January, the trip included an underground visit to the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment (CMS) as part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment, which announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson a few years ago. Not only is CERN the holy grail for physicists, it is in fact the birthplace of the internet, due to the need for a large network of connected computers able to analyse the collision and particle data.
ISH students were able to ask many of the questions they had after studying the physics topic, but many new ones arose. One visitor, joining the ISH group for the duration of the excursion, even claimed to have falsified Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2. This bold claim was then addressed by the professors leading the excursion resulting in an entertaining debate between experts, a great example to question everything, while being curious and exploring new theories and truths.
The Physics department received a lot of positive feedback and useful suggestions for next year. So, if you are taking Physics in Year 12, you will be able to sign up for the 2021 edition in September of this year. Only 24 students will be selected to join the next trip, so make sure you are part of it!
Some Quotes by students (from Evaluation from) about the Fieldtrip
Fascinating and truly one-of-a-kind experience
The trip was a great and interesting experience definitely worth the trip to Geneva! Seeing the practical side to the physics we learn in class and providing a better understanding of possible future opportunities
CERN exceeded expectations, the feeling while learning about the CMS was insatiable. I did not want to Muon from there.