Students share their stories of a summer at CERN

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

280 summer students from 83 different countries took part in this year's CERN summer student programme. The programme has been running since 1962 and invites students studying physics, computing and engineering to take part in the day-to-day work of CERN's experiments and to grow their own projects over the course of 8 to 13 weeks.

"The number of people who share the same aspirations and interests makes CERN the perfect place to work," said Tereza Kroupa, a student from University College London working on the CMS experiment at CERN.

Through the intensive programme the students work side-by-side with experts in their field of study. "My project is quite a hands-on, nuts-and-bolts sort of job. I do a bit of soldering and getting my hands dirty and I like that kind of thing," said Thomas Parton, a student working on the ATLAS experiment who will be starting his masters in theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge this October.

As well as working closely with their supervisors, the students benefit from lectures on a range of topics in the fields of theoretical and experimental particle physics and computing. Over the course of the programme, the summer students also take part in discussion sessions, workshops and a poster session as well as tours of CERN sites.

Throughout the summer, parties, barbecues, and trips have been organised for the students. "The social side of the summer student programme has definitely ticked the boxes," Parton said. "Any night of the week if you wanted to go and hang out you could find people. It's a really fantastic place to work and I've had an awful lot of fun."

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