by Tatsuya Chujo. Published: 20 July 2013

During the period July 8 to 12, 2013, six high school students and two teachers from Meikei High School (Tsukuba, Japan) visited CERN.

Meikei High School is selected as one of the "Super Science High Schools (SSHs)", by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. Each SSH has developed enriched curricula, teaching methods, and materials for science and mathematics in cooperation with universities and research institutes.

Followed by the lecture series in spring in Japan, on general modern physics, universe, elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, high energy heavy ion physics, and radiation, which have been done by the staff members of University of Tsukuba, ShinIchi Esumi (Tsukuba) made a plan for this school visit to CERN.



During their visit, students from the Meikei High School had the chance to visit different sites at CERN and learn about the construction and the operation of the LHC.

During their stay at CERN they visited the CERN Computing Center (CC), the LHC control room, the LHC magnet facility, LINAC-2, LEIR (July 8), ATLAS (July 9). After visiting the Einstein museum on July 10, they visited ALICE on July 11.



Students had the chance to ask their questions about ALICE and CERN's physics programme following the two lectures by Yves Schutz and Chilo Garabatos Cuadrado.


Mikei High School Students with their teachers outside ALICE P2 with members of the ALICE-Japan team.


Yves Schutz and Chilo Garabatos Cuadrado gave two lectures on the physics program me of ALICE and the experimental apparatus, respectively. Then they visited the Point-2 ALICE experimental area, including the ALICE cavern, the ALICE control room, assembly area, and ALICE display of detectors, guided by Ken Oyama (Heidelberg), Tatsuya Chujo (Tsukuba), Taku Gunji (CNS-Tokyo), and ShinIchi Hayashi (CNS-Tokyo). They enjoyed the ALICE visit as well as the visits of other facilities at CERN and they kindly shared their thoughts with ALICE (see below).

A word from the students...

"We were given some lectures and observed part of ALICE. I was surprised to see it had so many small parts. I am now even more interested in physics and the universe." K.T.

"When I saw ALICE with my own eyes, I was amazed by the size of the detector and, at the same time, how each sub-detector was put together precisely to do its own job. When I saw it, I knew at one glance that the detector was worth millions of francs." M.T.

"It was a great experience for me to visit ALICE. I'm interested in physics and I want to study it after my graduation from high school. Through this program, I learned what the physics I'll study in college will be like and what the researchers do at CERN do. I think working at ALICE is a very cool job, and I want to do it in the future. Visiting ALICE motivated me strongly." K.A.

"First, I was very surprised by the structure of ALICE. There were a lot of devices to search for particles. I was also very impressed by the size of ALICE, and I was able to have a deeper understanding after seeing it for myself. I would like to say thank you to all the professors who explained everything to us." K.H.

"I learned that the ALICE detector complex is very detailed and some parts are minute. For example, there are two types of detectors used to observe the particles’ tracks: TPC and TRD. I was very moved to see the ALICE detector. I had wanted to see a real detector for a long time, so I was very grateful to have this opportunity. The detector gave me a lot of ardor for the universe. It was a great time!" K.N.

"Although I couldn't visit the detector underground, I was able to get a clear picture of what is going on at ALICE and what is being experimented on by physicists. I had a great time at ALICE, and I would like to express my thanks to the people who took the time to explain everything to us and enthrall us with the mysteries of the universe. Thank you very much!" Y. K.

Useful links:

SSHs: here

Meikei Gakuen High School: here