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PHS Young Scientists Aim for CERN

CERN is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and as part of the celebrations they set up a “beam line for schools” competition where schools could submit a proposal to do an experiment on one of CERN’s beam lines. First prize for the competition is an opportunity to travel to Geneva to perform the experiment with the aid of CERN scientists.

Nine of Pinelands High School’s top Grade 11 Physical Sciences students formed the team that took part in this competition. Across the world 455 schools took part with five coming from South Africa. The students spent a considerable amount of time after hours trying to understand aspects of particle physics that are well beyond the school curriculum. The next phase was to come up with an idea and put together a 1000-word proposal and a one-minute video summarising the proposal. Students were hooked by the idea of investigating “electron bubbles” – an electron bubble or e-bubble is a large region within the body liquid helium which is completely free of helium atoms with a single electron bubble having approximately 60 times the radius of a helium atom.

PHS video submission: