CERN Particle School 2018


CERN, Geneva


20th August 2018

Additional information:

Particle School at CERN 20-24th August 2018, selection by Essay Competition

Year 12 physics students were invited to apply by writing an essay, for the Particle School at CERN in August 2018, run by Professor Themis Bowcock and the LHCb experiment research group.

Congratulations to the following winners of the Essay Competition – they will be joining a trip to the Particle School in August!

  • Emily from The Charter School (Matter – Anti-matter Asymmetry in the Universe)
  • Sumayyah from City of London Academy (How can Vosmologists work with Particle Physicists?)
  • Xavier from St Michael’s Catholic College (Why is the Higgs Boson important to Particle Physicists?)
  • Will from Alleyn’s School
  • Alex, James and Ryan from Dulwich College
  • Celeste, Florence and Stella from James Allen’s Girl’s School

The aim of the Particle School is to give future Physicists exposure to the life of a researcher, at CERN. Students will have access to data from the LHCb experiment at CERN and will also experience the day-to-day atmosphere of the CERN laboratory.

The Liverpool University LHCb group, who are hosting this opportunity for the eighth year, have opened the opportunity to all SSLP schools for the third time. There will be a total of twelve available places (plus two supervisors) for the Southwark Borough.

Trip logistics and cost
The visit will be over four nights, leaving on Monday 20st August and returning on Friday
24th August 2018. Travel to and from Geneva will be via air from Gatwick. Students will
need to make their own way to and from Gatwick Airport. Students will need a valid passport.

Some funding towards places for state school applicants is available and we are seeking further funding in the hope that the costs charged to pupils should not exceed £300 (including flights accommodation and meals). This will be confirmed in due course, but the cost should not deter pupils from applying.

How to apply
Students should register their interest initially by completing this google form
Note this does not commit the students to apply, but is merely for information purposes.

The Essay Competition
The twelve participants will be the winners of any Essay Competition.  All essays should be sent to Alexandra Galloni via email at by 8pm on Thursday 11th January 2018.

Write a short essay of less than 800 words on ONE of the topics listed below. Whatever topic you do chose ensure you properly reference your essay and introduce the basic concepts as if explaining to someone with little scientific background.
Essay titles:
i) What is Supersymmetry?
ii) Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry in the Universe
iii) Dark Energy and Dark Matter
iv) Explore an engineering breakthrough that set LHC apart from previous particle accelerators.
v) How are proton beams used in non-LHC experiments at CERN?
vi) How is the design of LHCb better suited to the study of B Meson decays than a general purpose detector ?
vii) What new physics can LHCb directly or indirectly detect, and how?
viii) For what physics goals is it important to have ~360 degree general purpose detectors like CMS and ATLAS?
ix) Cosmology is the study of the universe at a macroscopic scale whilst particle physics is concerned with the smallest scales imaginable. How can cosmologists work with particle physicists?
x) Why is the Higgs Boson important to particle physicists?