Recently, a group of university students from South Korea got the chance to experience the CMS experimental cavern remotely, through the wonder of a virtual visit.
A technical stop, which gave on-site personnel the opportunity to perform maintenance on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the CMS detector, provided a unique chance for students from Hanyang University, Seoul, to gain remote access to it too.
The visit, guided by Dr. Junghwan Goh from Hanyang University, Seoul, was special as Hanyang University joined the CMS Collaboration six months ago, and their representatives wanted to introduce their students, including some undergraduates interested in high-energy physics, to the international collaboration their institute is now a part of.
CMS virtual visits have been formally conducted for nearly two years, connecting schools, universities and science festivals across the globe with researchers at the CMS experimental site just outside Cessy, France. The virtual visits enable people from just about anywhere to engage in face-to-face dialogue with CMS representatives via video conference to learn about the collaboration's research and ask questions directly to the scientists.
While the LHC is operational, the underground tour is restricted to the service cavern, which contains the computing and monitoring racks. But, during a technical stop and with the applicable safety precautions in place, the CMS guides can take the virtual visitors up close to the CMS detector itself.
"Since I am majoring in a completely different field of physics – condensed matter physics – I had been looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about the very forefront of modern physics," said Gyujin Oh, a doctoral student at Hanyang University.
Seong-Pil Moon, a Masters' student in the Department of Physics added, "when the guide said the muon detector is made, in part, in Korea, I felt very proud. The one hour seemed very short, but was very impressive. I learnt how physicists around the world collaborate and hope to be part of such an international effort myself."
"CMS Virtual Visits continue to foster engagement between members of the collaboration and interested members of the public, especially students, and we look forward to bringing more visitors to Point 5 through these video conferences," said Virtual Visits organiser Marzena Lapka from the CMS Communications Group.