International Physics Masterclass
The aim of Particle Physics is to determine and understand the fundamental laws of the Universe. Experimental particle physics is normally only performed by experts, who design, build and run specific experiments, and finally analyse their data to look for new unknown particles. On the 17th March 2023, Dr Vincent Drach, a visiting scientist at CERN in Geneva, and a member of the Particle Theory group of the University of Plymouth, organised an event as part of the International Physics Masterclass series. Introductory lectures to particle physics were given by members of the local Particle Theory group: Dr. Craig McNeile and Dr. Vincent Drach. The event was also supported by Dr. James P Edwards, and two PhD students of our group: Maxwell Gisborne and James Hancock.
Approximately 50 Year 11, 12 and 13 students from local schools, became experimental particle physicists for a day. They used experimental data measured at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to estimate the mass and lifetime of a specific meson particle. At the end of day, the students shared their results in a video conference, organised by CERN, with students located in Bologna (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic) and Suceava (Romania). The students and their teachers also had a live visit of LHCb, a 20 metres long detector located 100 meters below ground, in which the two proton beams of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collide.
This event is an annual event and details will be sent to schools as soon as the date for 2024 is set.