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Particle Physics Masterclass at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

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Year 12 and 13 students have been experiencing experimental physics first hand at the Particle Physics Masterclass. Held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford, we visited the ISIS neutron and muon source, the largest particle accelerator in the UK, to learn about cutting edge research first hand.

Students were able to visit the collider where amazing feats of engineering are happening every day to create subatomic particles and look at data transmitted from CERN to find the Higgs boson, with APS proving their scientific credentials as the first school at the workshop to identify evidence of a Higgs event. The day was rounded off by a series of engaging and stimulating lectures that are sure to inspire our physicists of the future. Here are their thoughts on the day:

The talks were very interesting and well structured around the other activities of the day which provided a great insight into the uses and what is involved in running a particle accelerator. I was also inspiring to see the the wide range of careers and people that work there.Cosmo
The visit to the accelerator was very well structured. We listened to talks about particle physics, the history of particle accelerators and how they work, all of which were interesting and informative. We also had a tour of some of the facility, where we learnt more about the work involved in operating accelerators, and got the chance to use a computer program that allowed us to view data from the LHC. Overall, the day was inspiring and insightful.Max
The activities allowed us to gain a better insight into data processing and the structure of the data collectors at CERN. We learnt a lot about the different detectors and how they are used to understand which fundamental particles are given off during a collision and how momentum is conseved. The tour also allowed us the see how much effort goes into building all the machinery needed to carry out the research.Granit
The trip was very interesting and was extremely helpful in widening my knowledge in physics. Additionally, it helped me understand further possible careers in physics. The layout of the day was also well structured. Furthermore, I found it extraordinary witnessing the amazing apparatus used in particle accelerators.Alexandros Androutsos
The trip to the accelerator was very interesting and insightful onto the physics and process behind finding new sub atomic particles that could help us understand the world better . The talks were interesting and expanded my knowledge on quantum physics and therefore giving me a heads start on others . I also went to ISIS which showed me their machinery close up and gave me a visual idea of how much is needed to control sub atomic particles and their interactions.Viktor Maszewski