Particle Physics Masterclasses

Whole day masterclasses reviewing and illustrating some of the latest developments in particle physics research are held at the University of Birmingham School of Physics and Astronomy every year.

Groups of A-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

Please click to see the programme and report from the 2017 masterclass. The next Particle Physics Masterclass will follow a similar programme. See our Calendar of Events for the exact date. Please email Dr Maria Pavlidou, our Schools Liaison Officer, to book places on this event. 

In addition a half-day Particle Physics Masterclass (for groups of up to 30 A-level students) is available in schools or on campus by arrangement. The session includes an introductory presentation on the ATLAS detector, training students to identify the different types of events (collisions) and hands-on computer analysis with the aim of identifying particles and calculating the rarity of particular events as well as estimating the mass of the Z boson. The masterclass uses real data from CERN. Please email Dr Maria Pavlidou to discuss possible dates/make a booking.

The resources of the Particle Physics Masterclass can be downloaded from:

This work has been published at "Learning with ATLAS at CERN" (Long, L. Phys. Educ 46 (2011) 270-280).