Whole day masterclasses reviewing and illustrating some of the latest developments in particle physics research are held at the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy every year around Easter time. They are part of a national series of masterclasses, supported by the Institute of Physics.
Groups of AS Level students studying physics are invited to come along with their teachers to experience for themselves the excitement of the latest research. Activities include:
Talks from academic staff and young postgraduate researchers about particle physics and the latest experiments - including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the biggest and most energetic particle accelerator ever built
Computer based activities where students can get hands-on experience of some of the techniques used by particle physics researchers
Q & A sessions with experts in the field
Live video conferencing to CERN
STFC usually provide a selection of Particle Physics resources that students and teachers can take back for use in school.
We have a page with links to further particle physics web resources relevant to the Masterclass topics or you may be interested in visiting the Learning with ATLAS web page, and/or reading more 'hands on' particle physics "Learning with ATLAS at CERN" (Long, L. Phys. Educ 46 (2011) 270-280).
This article introduces teachers and students to a new portal of resources called Learning with ATLAS at CERN (http://learningwithatlas-portal.eu), which has been developed by a European consortium of academic researchers and schools' liaison and outreach providers from countries across Europe. It includes the use of some of the mind-boggling facts and figures from the Large Hadron Collider experiment to illustrate some basic school physics concepts. It also uses innovative software adapted and made available on the web by European particle physics researchers to introduce a more innovative investigative approach to teaching particle physics concepts.
This gives students a more 'hands-on' experience in the classroom and a feel for what real scientific research might be like.
The last Particle Physics Masterclass took place on 28th March 2012. See the programme from 28th March Masterclass (PDF).
Report and pictures of particle physics events in 2011-12 can be seen here (PDF).
The next Particle Physics Masterclass will take place on 17th April 2013, following a similar programme.
Please contact Lynne Long, our Schools Liaison Officer, to book places on this event.
Dr Peter Watkins
Tel: 0121-414-4625 / 4628
One of a set of Masterclasses organised by the High Energy Particle Physics Group of the Institute of Physics throughout the UK.