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About CERN, the Teachers and Giants PDF Print E-mail
Written by Цветанка Иванова   
Monday, 12 December 2011 14:36

About CERN, the Teachers and Giants

„If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

 Isaac Newton

From 3 to 23 July 2011 in CERN, Switzerland, the annual school for teachers was held. After a preliminary selection by the organizers, the participants have been chosen by the educational team of CERN, with head of the team Dr. Mick Storr, a man with a broad smile and a big heart. It includes 49 Physics teachers from 27 countries. Asia, Africa, America, Australia and Europe have their representatives in CERN High School Teacher’s Program 2011. The program has been held annually since 1998. Some of its goals are to promote the latest findings in the field of elementary particles, to give the teachers the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular devices in our modern world, the accelerators and particle physics detectors – The Large Hadron Collider, ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHC beauty. It presents the directions in which physics and astronomy are being studied. Only one thing is being asked of the teachers – to bring the magic of CERN to their students, to motivate them to choose physics as their sphere of studying.

I was the only Bulgarian in the group. At first I was impressed by the attitude of the security guard at entrance B. With a kind smile everyone was given a map with the directions to the hostel. A quick and easy accommodation followed and then the first meeting between teachers and CERN representatives! With everyone staring at the map, searching for the Leon Van Hove square, a Belgian physicist, director-general of CERN 1976-1980, going along Max Planck, turning on Faraday... these are names of streets here. In the history of physics – names of giants, on whose shoulders are standing the physicists of today.

Liueisha – Thailand, Franchesca - Italy, Paulina - Ghana, Naboyuki – Japan and many more names and faces. Over the next three weeks we were together. There were Mick Storr and Maurene. / The daily letters by Mick ended with a reminder not to forget the most important thing for the success in this project - „ the broad smile”/ They had organised a coctail party on the occasion of our arrival. The meeting was on a small lawn in a park, where some of the earlier particle detectors were exhibited. This was our first encounter with the history of CERN, but it showed us that people here remember and appreciate every step forward.

The day of our arrival was long, full of impressions and emotion. We attended a lecture in physics on the elementary particles, on accelerators and detectors. Some of the details were familiar to me, I heard about them more than 20 years ago, others were completely new for me. Unknown were also the names and faces of the people who gave the lectures: Frank Heartman, Simone Jilardony, Michaelangelo Mangano, Rolf Landua and others. Some of them are theorists, others are experimenters, thirds are directly engaged with the construction of the detectors and accelerators. People from different parts of the world in a common mission – to seek answers to the fundamental issues of the Universe.

The program was very busy. We started at 9 a.m. and finished at about 5:30 p.m. After the long day it was nice to have a chat with the colleagues, drinking beer at CERN restaurant. When you looked around, you could see the Nobel laureate Jack Steinberg. At an old age, he cannot leave this incredible place.

Lectures, visits to the detectors, teamwork and a presentation of the final products of our work. The three weeks passed very quickly. And the time came for the farewell barbecue. It turned out that physicists are familiar not only with matter and antimatter, but as well as with earthly things such as wine and French cheese. The barbecue was very delicious.

I don't like parting with people that I like! We know that we will meet again only in the virtual space. Before leaving I threw a coin under a beautiful magnolia tree. I wish I could come back here, not alone, but with students so that they will be able to feel the magic of CERN.

Аneta Мarinova

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:52