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CERN | Geneva | Switzerland

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A beam of your own

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration and to help keep us young at heart, CERN has launched a special competition for students called: Beam line for schools.

CERN is inviting students aged 16 and upward from anywhere in the world to submit a proposal to do an experiment with a beam of particles from the Proton Synchrotron beam line. Each team can be composed of up to 30 students with at least one adult supervisor. This summer, up to nine students of the selected team will be invited to CERN to run the team’s experiment. Travelling and living expenses for the selected group will be covered by CERN.

PSA view of the Proton Synchrotron beam line.

The proposals will be pre-selected by a group of CERN scientists, and will then be reviewed by the same committee that validates all proposals for experiments at the laboratory’s Super Proton Synchrotron and Proton Synchrotron accelerators.

So what could you be doing? Essentially, you can investigate how beams of particles interact with matter. For example, you could study what happens when beams containing different types of particles hit targets made of various materials. The proposals will be judged on creativity, motivation, feasibility and adherence to the scientific method.

To help you understand what can be done, we have put together a short presentation that explains the basics about particles and beams. These short talks are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German and are part of a YouTube playlist that includes recordings of Google hangouts in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German, in which CERN scientists answer questions.

Here is your chance to come to run your own experiment at CERN. This will last about a week and take place in July, August or September. CERN physicists will be helping you to refine your idea before and during your stay at CERN.

Interested? Then you can stay up-to-date via the CERN website, #bl4s on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.

Don’t hesitate and fill out the registration form before 31 January 2014. All you need to do at this point is send us the name of the school and of the participants as well as a tweet-of-intent stating why you think you should win this competition. You will still have until 31 March to prepare your full project, including a 1-minute video giving the highlights. Here is your chance!

Pauline Gagnon

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  • http://www.capturedlightning.com/frames/interesting.html
    Lichtenberg figures

    Control implantation depth with beam energy. Classically the the beam is spread. One could raster scan a tight beam for high art at discharge. 1″ diameter clear marbles are sold. (Glass may be a shatter hazard) Has it ever been done with protons? Data is good. Artifacts can be displayed and auctioned.

  • Good thing this competition is only opened to students…

  • Pingback: Un fascio tutto per te » betaingegneria.it | betaingegneria.it()

  • “Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.” “8^>) You have a thread of ultra-relativistic protons that will tear through solid nuclear matter. How can you resist pointing it straight up on a dark clear night? 760 torr of air is a yard of solid lead pressing down, mass/area. It won’t go anywhere naughty, more or less. DARPA is rumored to be very fond of steerable, very long atmospheric plasma tubes.

  • The same comment as below applies here…

  • Kinyanjui Carringtone

    What if the participants are from different schools?

  • Hummm… nobody has mentioned this but I do not see why not. So when you apply, simply mention everybody’s name and the 2 schools involved. I do not see why it would be a problem but will cross-check with my colleagues on Monday and will let you know. But most importantly: make sure to apply. The details can be adjusted later on.
    Good luck, Pauline

  • I don’t think this is a problem. Just list all the schools and students who will be involved.
    Cheers, Pauline

  • Kinyanjui Carringtone

    Thank you very much.