On 24 May, during an introductory lecture, Dr Christian Grech gave a brief overview of what is found and what is done at CERN; this was followed by a discussion. The students had the opportunity to tour ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment), a heavy-ion detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) ring. During the tour, the group had a look at the detector and learnt about the aim of the experiment as well as the function of the different components. A couple of the students also made it to the library and took the opportunity to peruse the numerous shelves.
On the last day, first thing in the morning, the students visited the CLIC (Compact Linear Collider) exhibition. CLIC is a planned collider whose construction will start in 2026. After lunch they headed for a tour of the CERN Control Centre and then to the AMS Control Centre where the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a particle-physics detector on the International Space Station, is controlled. Later they went to the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) detector and, due to the current maintenance works going on at CERN, they manage to view the inside of the detector from a very close proximity; this was the highlight of the trip.
The students, together with Dr Zammit Mangion, had the opportunity to experience up-close the instruments that made advances in our understanding of the universe and got to further their knowledge on dark matter, the early universe, the standard model of the particles and delve into the mysteries of the Universe.