Our study tour to CERN

Smriti G Kaushik, 12B

I write this on behalf of all of us at NPS RNR who had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to CERN as students.

We learnt a lot at CERN, starting first with an inspiring talk by Professor Manjit Dosanjh about the medical applications of particle physics.

As the days progressed, Dr. Mick Storr, our main guide and from whom it was an absolute honor to learn, showed us around several locations in CERN—the antimatter factory, the data center, CMS, LINAC, LEIR—all sites of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of particle physics. Although we could not see the actual particle accelerators or the hundreds of thousands of rolls of magnetic tape CERN stored its data on, we learnt a great deal about them and how they work. The last two lectures we had—by Piotr Traczyk and Daniel Denegri—were absolutely fantastic—especially the one by Mr. Traczyk. He talked about how physicists hunt for particles called Higgs bosons—and we even split up into two teams (team ATLAS and team CMS) to find one with data he gave us!

The whole visit wasn’t all serious, though. We explored almost the whole of Geneva with a treasure hunt (a series of questions about its rich history and landmarks) created by Dr. Storr himself, even meeting a group of Spanish students also doing the hunt on the way!

Our visit culminated with a trip to the picturesque town of Chamonix, France, and its beautiful, frigid ice caves. Our guide, Teresa, told us a great deal of the history behind it, and we took photos and explored.

Finally, it was time to leave. Our thanks and gratitude are due to the school management for making this possible for us. I think we can all agree that it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience, one that will stay with us for the rest of our lives!