IDEA League Physics Trip 2018

For the full report by the student association of mathematics/physics/computer science at RWTH Aachen, please access this link.

Student associations from RWTH Aachen, ETH Zürich and Politecnico di Milano organized an IDEA League Physics Trip to Switzerland.
This trip had a beneficial impact on inter-university contacts as well as on exploring the diverse fields of physics.

Talks at Université de Genève and ETH Zürich

In Geneva as well as Zürich several interesting talks were held for the students. Some examples were the presentations on laser filamentation including atmospheric applications of statistical physics by Prof. Jérome Kasparian at Université de Genève, and the talks on particle physics research and high precision measurements done at CERN’s CMS experiment at ETH Zürich. 

Visiting CERN and PSI

For many participants the visit to the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) was noticeably the highlight of their trip, where they got to see both the Synchrocyclotron, which featured an impressive film on the beginnings of CERN, and the ATLAS detector control room. Subsequently, the group got the chance to check out the Microcosm exhibition on everything there is to know about the facility and its development.

At the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Vilingen the participants were shown around the premises. The students visited PSI’s particle colliders and were told about their research on proton beam therapy for cancer treatment. Additionally, researcher Anna Soter presented on the special experimental approach of particle physics at PSI in contrary to the theoretical work done at CERN. Lastly, Prof. Dr. Christof Niedermayer performed an experiment on superconducting materials.

A True Team Spirit

The participants quickly grew close, due to their time together during the trip and naturally the shared interest in physics. The students enjoyed joint board game nights in the hostel, sleeping together in a large civilian bunker in Zurich and dining together, including having a barbecue with ETH’s student association for mathematics and physics, certainly enhanced this process.

Due to the diversity of the programme all participants gained their share of new and interesting knowledge. The whole team involved was content with the success of the collaboration, not only having learned lots from the process, but also because of the positive impact the project has had.

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