This post was published on the 13th July 2009
Written by GCC User
Published in the staff blog
GCC Physics Lecturer Tony Thyer is currently out in Switzerland at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN is the control centre for the Large Hydrogen Collider (LHC) and Tony was one of only a few teachers from around the World selected to attend a Teachers course about the experiment.
Read Tony’s blog below and click here for more images from the visit, including where the world wide web was launched.
The Teachers course we are on involves 38 teachers from 23 countries, including Australia, Japan, America, South Africa, many European countries, one from Scotland and myself from GCC.
The 56 bus to CERN has the usual people on it – but the conversation I overheard was not usual.
“Do you remember Greg? – He is working here now”
“What does he do?”
“He is a phenomenologist – it’s not really new Physics, he works out the mass of Beauty”
So it is really a very special place, when anyone you meet might be talking about the latest particle discovered, or how anti-matter behaves, or the first fraction of a second after the big bang.
The men sitting in the restaurant may be driving the trucks that deliver one of the thousands of magnets to the Large Hadron Collider, or they may be a winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Everyone is very friendly – clever people smile a lot here.
We do not know exactly what might be found. They say they are looking for a particle called the “Higgs Boson” – by the end of the year, the hunt may well have started.
If I am asked what is the most amazing thing about this place, it might be the incredible size of the detectors, or how complex it all is, but the greatest thing is that it exists.
Since it was formed in the 1950’s, people from all over the world have worked together here, regardless of the social or political situation they come from.
This means even sworn enemies just have a good time trying to find the evidence for “What are we made of”, “Where did we come from?” and “Where are we going?”. The humour here is also great, so they add the other important question “What is for dinner?”
- Visit the CERN site.
- Found out more about the Large Hydrogen Collider