PHZ4390 - Nuclear and Particle Physics

Optional Spring Break Program 2014

(page under construction)

The 2013 group in front of the actual CMS detector (~100 meters underground).

The 2013 group in downtown Geneva.

The 2012 group in Building 40 with a full sized portrait of the CMS detector.

The 2012 group in front of piece of the LHC beampipe by Restaurant #1.

The 2012 group 100 meters underground in the electronics cavern.

PHZ4390, Nuclear and Particle Physics, will be offered by the FSU Physics Department during Spring 2014. For the third straight year, we will offer an optional spring break program: a one-week trip to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Two options for taking PHZ4390 will be available:

  • Take the course without the spring break trip. In this case, simply register for the class as you normally do.
  • Take the course with the spring break trip. In this case, register for the course through FSU International Programs (IP). The fee for the course and the spring break program will be paid to FSU IP.
The spring break trip will utilize the material covered during the first part of the semester, but the trip is not required and will not be part of the material covered during the lectures, homework, or exams at FSU. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact Prof. Adams.

A flyer about the program from International Programs is available here.


CERN is one of the world's leading research centers for particle physics. It was founded in post-war Europe as a multinational laboratory, even to the point that the lab lies across the Swiss-French border. Since 1954, world-class research has been carried out there, resulting in a number of important discoveries and at least three Nobel Prizes. The CERN Spring Break program will give you the opportunity to see many of the leading-edge facilities at CERN, observe the ongoing research programs, and talk to scientists who work there. You will live and eat on the CERN site. We will also visit the city of Bern, Switzerland's capital, to tour the apartment where Einstein lived in 1905.

Planned Activities

Some of the planned activities include (subject to change):
  • Tour of the CMS experiment
  • Tour of the Atlas experiment
  • Tour of the CERN Visitors Center and film viewing
  • Meeting with CERN scientists
  • Tour of the CMS Remote Operations Center
  • Visit to the CERN Globe
  • Day trip to Bern, capital of Switzerland, to visit Einstein's apartment where he lived in 1905, his miracle year
  • Opportunity to explore downtown Geneva
  • Tour of the United Nations complex
  • You will live in the CERN hostel (e.g. dorms) while there
  • There will be a group dinner at a local restaraunt

How to Register

There are two ways to register for PHZ4390 in Spring 2014:
  1. If you do not intend to go on the optional Spring Break program, then register for PHZ4390 as normal through the Registar's webpages.
  2. If you intend to go to CERN, first apply through the International Programs website. Once your application is accepted, you will be sent instructions on how to register for the course. By doing this, you will not have to pay the normal credit hour costs for the course (it is included in the program fee).
In both cases, you receive three (3) credit hours for completing the Particle and Nuclear Physics course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost? - For 2014 the program cost will be $1885 to be paid to FSU International Programs.

What does the program fee cover? - The program fee covers three (3) credit hours for the course, housing at CERN, seven lunchs, one group dinner, local transportation for official group activities, pick-up at the airport, round trip train ticket to Bern, tour of downtown Geneva, visit to Einstein House, and a tour of the United Nations.

What other costs might I incur? - Most importantly, the fee does not cover airfare to/from Geneva, that is your responsibility. Most dinners and breakfasts are not included. Souveniors and non-official social activites are not included. You will also probably want to use the easily available public transportation which has a fee. Transportation back to the airport at the end of the trip is not included.

Are scholarships available? - Yes. FSU International Programs has a limited number of scholarships that can cover up to 1/4 of the program fee. You must apply by the deadline listed on the FSU IP website (warning it is in the early fall).

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Todd Adams

Department of Physics
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4350

Office: 515 Keen
Phone Number: (850) 644-7159

To Prof. Adams' home page.

Created Aug. 31, 2011 - TA. Modified Sep. 9, 2013 - TA