CERN–Latin-American School of High-Energy Physics in Peru

The 7th CERN–Latin-American School of High-Energy Physics was held in Arequipa, Peru, from 6 to 19 March 2013. The School is held every other year in a Latin-American country. This was the first time it had been hosted in Peru – a choice that reflects the increasing development of high-energy physics in the country, including collaboration in ALICE and experimental neutrino physics.


Participants in the 7th CERN–Latin-American School of High-Energy
in the grounds of the El Lago Estelar hotel in Arequipa, Peru.

The 2013 School was attended by a total of 69 students, including 19 from Peru, selected from more than 130 applicants. About 80% of the students came from Latin-American countries, with most of the others coming from Europe. All in all, 18 different nationalities were represented. The lecturers and discussion group leaders were also from a variety of different countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

In addition to teaching an intensive scientific programme, the school aimed to foster cultural exchange between participants of different nationalities. The organizers consciously mixed students from different countries when assigning them their shared accommodation and dividing them into the five discussion groups that met most afternoons. Leisure activities included a full-day excursion to the Colca Canyon, where participants were able to see an impressive number of condors in flight, and a half-day excursion to Arequipa city centre.

The programme required active student participation. In addition to the discussion sessions that addressed questions from the lecture courses, an evening session was held for many students to present posters about their research work to their colleagues and the teaching staff.

The students also performed collaborative projects. For these projects, student groups conducted in-depth studies of a published experimental data analysis, which involved many of the issues discussed during the lectures. This required the students to work with colleagues from different countries and cultures outside of the formal teaching sessions. A student representative from each of the five groups presented a short summary of the conclusions of the group’s work in a special evening session. In this way, the students not only followed intensive, high-level training in particle physics and related subjects, but also had the opportunity to develop their skills in teamwork and international collaboration in a context very relevant to their future work as practising researchers.

by Nick Ellis, Organising Committee