26th November 23
We had a fascinating trip to Geneva at the beginning of the Month to see the International Particle Physics Centre at CERN in Geneva.
Arriving late on Monday we had an early start to visit the old town including the historic cathedral and a short boat trip across the lake. The rain cleared for our journey, but unfortunately the Jet d’Eau was not on display.
A quick tram ride later we were in CERN, where we got a bite to eat (some had 2 or 3 plates) in the dining hall. We were surrounded by many staff discussing the latest development in Particle Physics and planning new experiments.
Our guide, Joni Pham, collected us and guided us through some of the major technological achievements and experiments ongoing at the site. We investigated the synchrocyclotron, one of the first international scientific collaboration. We were then taken to another site (in France, no passport check!) which was the laboratory for the study of antimatter. It was a huge building all for the manufacture and study of a tiny amount of antihydrogen. But it’s the only place in the universe where antimatter exists in that amount!
Our final visit to the superconducting magnets finished off our visit before we flew back to Heathrow. A flying visit, maybe, but an incredible insight into the world of fundamental Physics. Who knows, we may have stimulated the interest of a future Nobel Laureate among our group…
James Deeny, Head of Physics