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More than 100 students from 7 schools attended the annual Particle Physics Master Class at Daresbury Laboratory, one group having travelled from Leeds to attend! This year saw a significant expansion of the annual master class, with direct support from the Cockcroft Institute, and an enhanced range of activities intended to draw attention to the link between fundamental particle physics and the actual particle accelerators which drive this aspect of science. Significant focus was also placed on the engineering challenges faced in delivering the accelerators and detectors needed for this work, emphasising the range of roles and skills which are needed by the STFC to deliver the cutting-edge science which is our hallmark.
Challenges for the visiting students this year included a tour of the unique ALICE energy recovery linac accelerator and a hands-on experiment to measure the particle beam energy, demonstration of RF accelerating technology, plus interactive computer simulations which gave students the opportunity to examine particle collisions in the ATLAS detector on the LHC at CERN, and practical hands-on sessions aimed at conveying an understanding of electromagnetic forces. There were also talks on particle physics and the history of particle accelerators at Daresbury, and the day was rounded off with a brief review of the important points, and a light-hearted quiz with a trophy for the best student from each school.
Feedback received since the event has been very good:
Lee Jones, Chair of the Cockcroft Institute outreach group, said that ‘this has been a far more ambitious master class programme than in previous years, but it has also been far more successful!’.
Anyone interested in attending either event should contact Dr Lee Jones.