Particle Physics Master Class at Daresbury Laboratory

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Pavel Juarez and Ricardo Torres leading an exercise on electron-positron annihilation.

The Cockcroft Institute has held its annual Particle Physics Master Class from the 6th to the 8th of March in the campus of Daresbury Laboratory.

This outreach event aimed at A-level school children, comprises a whole day of activities: talks on particle physics and accelerator science, a tour of Daresbury Lab’s facilities, hands-on demonstrations, particle physics simulations, quizzes, and  a talk about careers in science.

The QUASAR Group was heavily involved in the successful running of the event, which saw around 100 students per day.

Pavel Juarez and Ricardo Torres, led a series of computer based exercises designed by the University of Lancaster, were children could investigate particle annihilation with a virtual electron positron collider, and even measure the mass of the Higgs boson in a simulation of the ATLAS detector.

Ricardo Torres also ran a series of hands-on experiments on accelerator technology, with a salad bowl accelerator powered by a Wimshurst generator, and a high TC superconductor to demonstrate the Meissner effect that left many mouths wide open.

Our PhD students Amir Salehilashkajani, Ben Hounsell, Volodymyr Rodin, Jacinta Yap, Thomas Primidis, Roland Schnurer, and Maxine Sharples helped escorting the groups around the campus.

The Particle Physics Master Class has proven again a massive success with the students and their teachers, as well as a rewarding experience for our staff.