After 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 Hardon Collider)… we visited the United Nations, 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 Wednesday in the CERN complex visiting the original Synchro-cyclotron for the first time and the ATLAS Control Centre, where we saw first-hand the staggering scale and complexity of the experiments. We were also treated to an amazing underground visit to see the ATLAS detector Cavern up close and a VIP Q&A session with Pippa Wells (ATLAS Detector Project Leader) who 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 packed 3 days.