It was early May 2019 when a large group of IB students started talking about visiting CERN, the place where top scientists from all around the world seek the origin of the Universe by simulating the conditions prior to the Big Bang. We discovered there was a possibility to take our trip even further and applied for the S’cool lab workshop. Knowing how difficult it is to qualify, we brainstormed and decided to make a rap video as our qualification project. It would be too easy to say we were just lucky. The CERN S’cool lab instructors appreciated the amount of time and teamwork that went into the project and we were very happy to find that we qualified for the workshop.
Upon arrival at CERN, we found we could eat our lunch in the same canteen as some of the physics Nobel Prize winners (Peter Higgs, Carlo Rubbia and others)! Then, we went on to build our very own particle detector – the cloud chamber - and watched cosmic rays and fast electrons leave their traces. After that, we moved on the Electron tube accelerator and used electric field to speed up electrons up to 3 million metres per second! We used a strong magnetic field to bend them and some of us, who used two perpendicular alternating magnetic fields ended up with their very own oscilloscope!
On Saturday, we had a guided tour around CERN. We were very lucky to get Mr. Dominique Bertola as our guide. He works in the IT department and was the very first person in the world to click a hyperlink when the www protocol was invented at CERN. He showed us the Cyclosynchrotron as well as the Data centre, which processes data from hadron collisions.
We came back very tired but happy and enriched.