Return to CERN

For the first time since the Covid years, Godalming College Physics students went to  Switzerland to visit CERN and explore the world of particle physics.  

This trip was a unique opportunity for the students to learn about the latest advancements in particle physics and gain insights into the working lives of the scientist and engineers who work at CERN. 

‘It was great to be back in Switzerland to show the students the inspiring work they do at Cern,’ says Joe, Head of Physics, Computing and IT.  ‘It’s a popular trip for our students as it gives them a real feel for the life of a scientist and the impact of physics on daily life.’ 


But it wasn’t just about CERN and the students visited the Red Cross Museum, the United Nations, and the Science Museum. They also took a water tour and indulged in some sightseeing. The students had a chance to taste the local cuisine and drinks at the Edelweiss Restaurant and the Brasserie du Molard. 

‘20 of us physics students flew to Geneva for a 3 day trip packed full of not only Swiss culture and attractions but also great food and entertainment’, says student Megan. ‘As a large group we managed to see lots of the city in the evenings as well as the main attraction, of course, the Large Hadron Collider. I met some really lovely people because of the trip and would definitely recommend it for next years’ lot! Big thankyou to Joe and Anne for organising a great trip.’ 



The UK and CERN 

The UK was one of the founding member states of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in 1954.  Since then, universities from around the UK have been involved in a wide range of experiments that have helped us find out more about the Universe in which we live.  Scientific breakthroughs include the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. 


UK universities are involved in all four of the Large Hadron Collider experiments – leading and contributing to technology development, data analysis and operations.   


At CERN, many key roles are held by UK personnel; UK scientists, engineers and technicians have been central to all the major LHC developments, from Professor Peter Higgs’ theoretical work that underpins the research, the initial LHC proposals, detector design and build, day-to-day operation of the LHC, and data analysis. 


CERN offers training and employment for UK nationals in a diverse range of disciplines including science, engineering, computing and technical roles, as well as in non-STEM fields such as translation, finance, communications and even fire-fighting.  


UK companies also benefit from the UK’s membership of CERN, winning contracts across a variety of sectors including civil engineering, high tech manufacturing, electronics and recruitment.  


As the world’s leading particle physics laboratory, CERN welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year; UK school groups represent a significant proportion.   


Guided tours of CERN (for groups or individuals) are free.  Due to demand, tours need to be booked at least three months in advance through the CERN web site .   


The UK subscription to CERN is managed by STFC.  


About the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is the UK’s largest public funder of research into particle and nuclear physics, astronomy and astrophysics, and space science. We operate five national laboratories across the UK which, supported by a network of additional research facilities, increase our understanding of the world around us and develop innovative technologies in response to pressing scientific and societal issues. We also facilitate UK involvement in a number of international research activities including CERN, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Square Kilometre Array Observatory. 

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