The A Level Physics students were all looking forward to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories by the time it finally happened, especially Year 13 with the trip being cancelled the year before. After battling both the M25 and the M40 in rush hour we made it to Didcot and the labs.
We began with a series of short lectures on particle accelerators and their uses in the wider world outside of their obvious applications in research. The lectures consolidated our A Level knowledge, whilst also showing all of use the sheer range of opportunities that a career in Physics held.
We then moved on to an interactive activity of find the Higgs Boson, a particle that turned out to be trying to find a needle in a haystack. From this we learnt of just how much data the detectors and research stations on the LHC in CERN processes. With all of us being shocked at the amount of results that scientists had to thoroughly go through each day.
The diamond laboratories accelerator was the last stop on our visit, with us having the chance to talk to the actual scientist who worked with the device. We were able to walk on top of the accelerator, showing all of us the size of these machines. But, also, whilst talking to the scientists the range of experiments that the x-rays it produced could help in.
We would like to thank Mr. Dacanalis for taking us, and Miss Black for helping to organise the trip. It left Year 12 readily anticipating their upcoming trip to CERN and Year 13 glad that they’ve all chosen degrees heavily based around Physics.
Beth, Year 13