School trips to CERN encouraged to Participate in the Hunt for the Elusive Higgs Boson
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17th August 2011
A school trip to CERN allows students to discover and experience the science behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful physical experiment ever built. Spanning the border between Switzerland and France about 100m underground the LHC is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the fundamental building blocks of life. Specifically the LHC smashes two beams of particles head on at super-fast speeds to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang in an attempt to answer the fundamental questions of science and the universe.
Schools looking to organise a school trip to CERN will be pleased to hear that the LHC will now be tapping into the collective computing power of the public to help it simulate particle physics experiments, giving school trips the opportunity to participate in the biggest scientific experiment in the world. The effort, dubbed LHC@home 2.0, is a vastly updated version of a 2004 effort to enlist the public's computers to simulate particle physical experiments by contributing spare computer power from their personal computers and laptops. The project is just the latest in an increasingly long line of "citizen science" projects in which the power of the public's home computers is put to use in solving scientific problems such as the hunt for the illusive Higgs Boson.
Based in Geneva, CERN has become an increasingly popular school trip for science students as it is highly accessible with students being encouraged to visit and take a behind the scenes guided tour where they can explore the exciting and interactive exhibitions that CERN has to offer including the “Universe of Particles” and “Microcosm” exhibitions. If you are a teacher looking to make science more interactive and would like your students to experience the most powerful physical experiment ever built please contact us for more information on a school trip to CERN.
Alternatively students can attend our fantastic national science event Science Discovered at the O2 in November featuring amongst others BBC wonders of the Universe Star Professor Brian Cox who plays an important role at CERN as a leading particle physicist.