QUASAR Group reaches out as part of British Science Week

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A student explaining something to school children.
Andrés explaining the 'Physics of Particle Accelerators' to the visitors. (Image: VG&M)

British Science Week ran from the 8 to 17 March this year and as ever many science outreach events were arranged to coincide with this. The Victoria Gallery and Museum, which is part of the University of Liverpool, organised an event on Saturday 16 of March aimed at the visitors who would normally visit at a weekend who are mainly family groups. Researchers from across the university were invited to display an activity about their research at this event.

QUASAR member Qiyuan Xu, who is a first year LIV.INNO student attended this event along with EuPRAXIA-DN Fellow Andrés Levia Genre who did a secondment in Liverpool.

Two people posing for a picture.

Qiyuan and Andres at the British Science Week event.

They talked to the visitors about the ‘Physics of Particle Accelerators’ and brought lots of hands on demonstrations with them including the Surfatron, which shows how sub-atomic particles can be accelerated using electromagnetic waves, and the Gauss rifle which uses magnetic fields to accelerate a particle. Electromagnetic fields are used in real particle accelerators to both accelerate and steer the beam.

Qiyuan’s PhD project involves developing diagnostics on the LHC at CERN. He also showed how the LHC circulates and collides beams of particles using a train set. Within EuPRAXIA-DN, Andrés studies “THz-driven Dielectric Accelerators (DLAs)” and is usually based at the University of Pécs in Hungary.

The event attracted almost 500 people over the course of the day with lots of positive feedback received from those who participated. Andrés and Qiyuan were also both very positive about their experience. Andrés said "It was a challenging yet rewarding experience. It was hard to communicate our goal to the youngsters. On the other hand, the children were very active and curious in their participation. As a scientist, it is heart-touching to see the next generation interested in physics".