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Pupil report: Physics particle masterclass at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

A3 physics pupils travelled to Oxford on Tuesday 10 March to attend a physics particle masterclass at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The day comprised a series of lectures and tours around the facilities, as well as a workshop using data from the CERN Hadron Collider in Geneva.

One of the tours was around the ISIS facility, which had a particle accelerator used to obtain neutrons, then used for multiple practical applications such as imaging and ensuring the integrity of materials in aircraft. The sheer magnitude of the machines was intriguing and visiting this accelerator has given us all a greater appreciation of the collider’s significance and how important its discoveries are in our day-to-day lives. 

Later in the afternoon, we all participated in a workshop, looking at data received by the CERN Hadron Collider. When the collider was first set up, its main purpose was to prove the existence of the theorised Higgs Boson particle. Similarly, during the workshop, we were set the task of analysing the data and finding the Boson particle ourselves. This was a competition where our team placed first in finding the particle. Furthermore, Sophia R later contributed to the overall success of the team by winning the Physics Particle Quiz, which concluded our trip.

The trip was very inspiring and demonstrated to us all the diversity of engineering.

By Diani F and Sophia R (A3 pupils)