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Laser Facility KS5 Trip

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11 students went to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire for the KS5 Education Access Day.

From Narinder Gill

Our fascinating day at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory began with a tour around the enormous facility.

We were taught the types of measurements used in the past compared to the high precision measurement and equipment used now. The Laboratory then gave us the opportunity to see the high tech machinery - capable of identifying imperfections smaller than a human hair - in action.

We were then challenged to build our own stable structured rockets using marshmallows and spaghetti. The goal was to ensure our constructions could withstand the intense vibrations that real rockets experience when launched.

The day culminated with a lecture from Ceri Brenner, who works with the most powerful lasers in the world. She explained the work at the RAL facilities and central laser facility, transfixing us by explaining how they use such equipment to create conditions similar to those at the centre of the sun.