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Richmond students hunt for the Higgs boson at CERN

10 March 2017  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

Students from Richmond School have been inspired by a visit to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider. During the visit on 3rd February the students discovered how CERN is helping to answer some of the most fundamental questions; how did the Universe begin? What are the basic building blocks of matter? Scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson require experimental machines on the large scale, and the students gained an appreciation of the technical and engineering challenges that the multinational experimental collaborations at CERN face.   Dan Dent from Richmond School said, “The experience was all round eye opening, from the Swiss architecture to the amazing collaboration that is CERN. I highly recommend this trip!”   The UK has been a member of CERN since the organisation was founded in 1954.  Membership allows British researchers to take a wide variety of roles that contribute to CERN’s on-going success; from recently qualified technicians and university undergraduates gaining their first taste of working in an international environment to PhD students analysing experimental data and experienced engineers and physicists leading projects or representing their experimental collaborations.  The [insert name of school] students’ visit was led by a member of the CERN community who talked from personal experience about their contribution to CERN’s research programme.   STFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor John Womersley said “The scale of the science and technology at CERN is awe-inspiring.  There is no doubt that seeing it at first hand, and meeting the people who work on the experiments, can influence young people’s future education and career choices.  My own research career began at CERN and I continue to be fascinated by its discoveries.”    For further information on the school: Richmond School Darlington Road Richmond North Yorkshire DL10 7BQ Tel: 01784 850111    For further information on the Science and Technology Facilities Council contact: Corinne Mosese Press Officer STFC Polaris House, Swindon Tel: 01793 442870 Email:   The UK and CERN The UK was one of the founding member states of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in 1954.  Since then, universities from around the UK have been involved in a wide range of experiments that have helped us find out more about the Universe in which we live.  Scientific breakthroughs include the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.   UK universities are involved in all four of the Large Hadron Collider experiments – leading and contributing to technology development, data analysis and operations.    At CERN, many key roles are held by UK personnel; UK scientists, engineers and technicians have been central to all the major LHC developments, from Professor Peter Higgs’ theoretical work that underpins the research, the initial LHC proposals, detector design and build, day-to-day operation of the LHC, and data analysis.   UK companies also benefit from the UK’s membership of CERN, winning contracts across a variety of sectors including civil engineering, high tech manufacturing, electronics and recruitment.   As the world’s leading particle physics laboratory, CERN welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year; UK school groups represent a significant proportion.    Guided tours of CERN (for groups or individuals) are free.  Due to demand, tours need to be booked at least three months in advance through the CERN web site .    The UK subscription to CERN is managed by STFC.    About STFC The Science and Technology Facilities Council is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security.   The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar. STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including: in the UK; ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR.  STFC is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd. overseas; telescopes on La Palma and Hawaii It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).   STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils.  It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Follow us on Twitter @STFC_Matters  

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