Cern – 6th form Physics trip 2016

Like all good school trips, this one began with an early start. Luckily, we were all too pumped up on caffeine and excitement to feel the exhaustion!

Day 1 saw us to the city of Geneva where Mr Purcell took us on a tour of the sights (after a considerable amount of map reading). We made our way to the St. Pierre Cathedral, the Palace of Nations, the Broken Chair sculpture and the L’horloge fleurie (the flower clock), all whilst taking dozens of pictures of the scenery for our Instagrams. It was now time to face the next challenge; Dinner. Feeling more ambitious than a McDonalds and not brave enough for fondue, we decided on pizza. We hadn’t anticipated the entire menu being what may as well have been jibberish, but luckily, being friends with some A-Level French students had its perks…

On day 2 we woke up bright and early, smiles on our faces and in the pursuit of knowledge! Just kidding, we looked like extras from ‘the Walking Dead’… fortunately, the prospect of visiting CERN was enough to keep us from nodding off. On arrival, we were educated on the inner workings of the hadron collider (my brain could hardly handle the genius!); our guide, Claude, used the analogy that here in CERN, the collisions of particles are like car crashes where instead of the cars being destroyed, trains and trucks are produced! After learning the basics of elementary particles, we were shown around the cryogenic test facility as well as being able to see the alpha magnetic spectrometer, or rather, a model, since it is 500 miles above us on the ISS! So far we only know what 5% of the universe is made up of; the AMS looks to discover the remaining 95%.

Our life changing morning was concluded with a visit to the gift shop and some lunch where, to find the price of our food, it was weighed! Workplace goals…

A train ride into Paris commenced day 3. After some well needed sleep, there was a definite buzz to our group…or maybe it was just the constant chorus of Disney songs. We spent the day at Disneyland Paris; selfies were taken, Minnie Mouse ears bought and rollercoasters ridden. Our magical day was concluded with the fireworks show. My only complaint was that ‘It’s a small world’ was stuck in my head on repeat for the next month!

Day 4 took us into Paris where, thanks to our trusty bus driver Manuel, and our very own tour guide Mrs Henry, we saw sights such as the Sacré-Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Damme and of course, the Eiffel tower. We visited the top of the Montparnasse tower, payed a visit to the Mona Lisa and stuffed ourselves at Hard Rock café to conclude our week as tourists.

Huge thanks to Mr Purcell, Mrs Campbell, Miss Craig and Mrs Henry for putting up with us all for this life-changing week!

By Linsey Lynch Year 13