Accelerator and Particle Physics Masterclass 2022

On the 29th of March the Cockcroft Institute hosted its annual Accelerator and Particle Physics Masterclass (APPMC), one of our flagship annual outreach events. The purpose is to give a broad and entertaining yet educational overview of particle physics and accelerator science to GCSE and A-level science student. This year the event was hosted online with most attendees participating from their school classrooms.

Tom Pacey explaining the physics of particle collisions with virtual snooker balls.

The CI welcomed a total of 477 students and 24 teachers from 323 schools around the country to the event. The day began with an opening talk by Alex Bainbridge on the history and development of particle accelerators at Daresbury, followed by a talk on the science of electromagnetism. Live links followed with Boulby Underground Laboratory to learn about the experiments being conducted there, and diamond light source for a virtual tour. The students were also guided through two interactive online activities provided by the CI, the Lancaster Particle Physics Package and the Liverpool Surfatron. Students were also able to submit questions in live chat with PhD students and staff from across the CI.

Thomas Primidis demonstrating the Surfatron game.

The masterclass was organised by Dr Alex Bainbridge (ASTeC) with support from Wendy Cotterill and Phill Day (Daresbury public engagement) and was supported on the day by a total of 35 staff and student volunteers from all partners of the CI.