A – A beamline for schools 2016 CERN


immagine vittoria
 For all of us, winning this competition and having the opportunity to work at CERN as real researchers, means fulfilling  our biggest dream this year. Therefore we will try to astonish you with this experiment about Cherenkov light because it clearly shows the philosophy of our school. In our opinion basic research plays a fundamental role in the progress of  humanity:  new applications, advanced instruments and innovative materials have come from the most diverse  scientific works.
Could the Cherenkov light play a fundamental role in advanced medical diagnosis?
The beginning of our video shows both historical and scientific failures and the most dangerous applications of science. In contrast to this, we want to transmit a totally positive point of view: a deeper knowledge of natural phenomena may give us infinite possibilities to improve our life conditions.
We worked hard and we learnt a lot: we took in to discover objective measurable parameters in the darkness of our photographs, we studied the radioactive decay and we familiarized with statistical analysis to evaluate our measurements.
If our experiment is  a winning choice, it will perfectly show our thinking about science:  that  physics, chemistry, biology are not made only of numbers and notions  but they are a product of the human ability to explore and thinking.


CERN-BL4S map 2016




bl4s 2016

Ben sei squadre italiane sono arrivate in semi-finale, ma a vincere, quest’anno, la terza edizione della competizione del CERN “Beamline for schools” (BL4S) sono una squadra inglese e una polacca. L’annuncio è stato dato oggi dal CERN. Tra le sei squadre semi-finaliste italiane (PEANO del Liceo Scientifico Giuseppe Peano di Monterotondo (RM), Athomos Team del Venerabile Ignazio Capizzi Liceo Scientifico di Bronte (CT), TCO-4ASA del Liceo Scientifico Statale “T.C. Onesti” di Fermo, LAST MINUTE del Liceo Scientifico Nicoloso da Recco di Recco (GE), I Taurinesi del L.S.S. Galileo Ferraris di Torino e Volta Ψ-Team dell’I.T.T.S. “Alessandro Volta” di Perugia) ne verrà ora selezionata una dall’INFN, per offrirgli la possibilità di condurre il proprio esperimento in uno dei laboratori italiani, se tecnicamente possibile. Tutte e sei le squadre italiane, inoltre, riceveranno dal CERN un rivelatore di raggi cosmici per la propria scuola e una maglietta targata BL4S per ogni partecipante. Le squadre vincitrici, invece, selezionate tra 151 squadre di 37 Paesi del mondo (tra cui 20 in tutto le italiane), si recheranno al CERN a settembre per condurre lì il loro esperimento. I criteri di selezione utilizzati dal comitato scientifico del CERN includono la creatività, la motivazione, la fattibilità e il metodo scientifico. L’esperimento della squadra polacca consiste nel misurare l’assorbimento dei muoni nel calcare, per migliorare l’interpretazione dei dati di una tomografia con muoni effettuata sulla Piramide di Chefren molti anni fa. Il progetto degli inglesi, invece, mira ad aumentare la precisione nella misura del fattore di Lorentz, osservando la dilatazione del tempo dovuta alla relatività speciale di Einstein nel decadimento dei pioni.





Winners of 2016 Beamline for Schools competition announced

Two teams of high-school students, “Pyramid hunters” from Poland and “Relatively Special” from the United Kingdom, have been selected to travel to CERN1 in September to carry out their own experiments using a CERN accelerator beam. The winners were selected from a total of 151 teams from 37 countries around the world, adding up to more than 1250 high-school students.

The Beamline for Schools competition enables high-school students to run an experiment on a fully equipped CERN beamline, in the same way that researchers do at the Large Hadron Collider and other CERN facilities. Students had until 31 March to submit a written proposal and video explaining why they wanted to come to CERN, what they hoped to take away from the experience and initial thoughts of how they would use the particle beam for their experiment. CERN scientists and experts evaluated the proposals based on creativity, motivation, feasibility and scientific method. A final selection was put forward to the CERN scientific committee responsible for assigning beam time to experiments, who chose two winning teams to carry out their experiments together at CERN.

I am impressed with the level of interest within high schools all over Europe and beyond, as well as with the quality of the proposals. This competition is very effective in triggering motivation for fundamental physics of young brilliant students at a moment that is crucial for their future career choices.”, said Claude Vallee, chairperson of the CERN SPSC committee that chose the winning teams.

“Pyramid hunters” are seven students from Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Marsz. St. Małachowskiego, the oldest school in Poland. Their project involves measuring the muon absorption of limestone to help understand data from a muon tomography of the Chephren pyramid from many years ago.

“I can’t imagine better way of learning physics than doing research in the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. I still can’t believe it,” says student Kamil Szymczak. Classmate Kamil Krakowski adds: “It is fascinating how physics connects with archaeology. I am so glad that research taken in CERN can help to solve the mystery of pyramids. It is a wonderful adventure.”

“Relatively Special” is a team from Colchester Royal Grammar School and comprises 17 students, nine of which will travel to CERN. Their project aims to test the validity of the Lorentz factor by measuring the effect of time dilation due to Special Relativity on the decay rate of pions.

“My mum asked me “What is your team doing in the competition?” and I replied “Oh, just proving Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity,” laughs student Achintya Singh.

The first Beamline for Schools competition was launched to coincide with CERN’s 60th anniversary two years ago. To date, winners from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy and South Africa have performed their experiments at CERN. This year, short-listed teams2 each receive a Cosmic-Pi detector for their school that will allow them to detect cosmic-ray particles coming from outer space.

Beamline for Schools is an education and outreach project supported by the CERN & Society Foundation, funded by individuals, foundations and companies.

“We are very happy to be able to offer this experience to high-school students, thanks to support received via donations to the CERN & Society Foundation,” said Markus Joos, Beamline for School project leader.

The project was funded in 2016 in part by the Alcoa Foundation; additional contributions were received by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the Fund Ernest Solvay managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, and National Instruments. CERN would like to thank all the supporters for their generous contributions that made the 2016 competition possible.


Further information:

Team “Pyramid hunters”: Extract from their proposal “The pyramids are still the most mysterious pieces of architecture and it seems that they still hide numerousness mysteries … The fact that the Egyptians set up 2.5 million stone blocks without any purpose seems to be unimaginable. So we would like to try to examine the internal structure of the pyramid using muon tomography.” Watch their video(link is external).

Team “Relatively Special”: Extract from their proposal “We would like to promote physics in our school to raise interest amongst our fellow students by sharing our adventure about what it is like to go into research. We believe this sort of motivation is vital for the successive generations of young scientists in order to help them learn the tools to make the next scientific breakthroughs and propel the human race to places previously out of reach.”Watch their video(link is external).


1 CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. Its headquarters are in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession. Cyprus and Serbia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. Pakistan and Turkey are Associate Member States. European Union, India, Japan, JINR, Russian Federation, UNESCO and United States of America have Observer status.


2 Of the 151 proposals submitted, 29 were given the status of highly commended and receive certificates, t-shirts and a Cosmic Pi detector for their school. These were, listed alphabetically by country:  The Rocket Bros from Bangladesh; Pharaonic Fermions from Egypt; Doesn’t Matter from France; 7th High School of N. Smyrni, Odysseus Comrades and Zanneio Stardust from Greece; Athomos Team, LAST MINUTE, I Taurinesi, Peano, TCO-4ASA and Volta Ψ-Team from Italy; Energetic Crew from Jordan; GGHiggs from the Netherlands; Beamcats from the Philippines; Quantum nerds and 30(ns) to Bang from Portugal; The Seklers from Romania; #reflector from Singapore; Elaios team from Spain; TEAM Nations from Switzerland; Lorosae Team from Timor-Leste; PowerCERN Girls and SLOW MUotiON from Turkey and The Particle Exhilarators, Fission Chips, The Feynwomen, JA JA GO and the Cambridge Perse Team from the United Kingdom.