the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
EHS Hosts Particle Physics Masterclass
07 November 2014
On Tuesday 4 November, EHS Physicists in Year 12 took part in a Mini Particle Physics Masterclass at school along with students from King Edward VI Five Ways School. The event was chaired by Dr Maria Pavlidou from the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy. In the workshop, the students used Minerva, the software that is actually used to analyse data produced from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Using real events from proton-proton collisions, the students first learnt to recognise the type of event that had occurred, even managing to spot some potential Higgs Bosons along the way. Then, using energy and momentum values, they derived a value for the rest mass of the Z boson, getting results within 3% of that expected.
To round off the day, the students then had a discussion with Cristina Lazzeroni, a Reader in Particle Physics at the University of Birmingham. In this discussion they found out more about what her work actually entailed and asked about possible future developments at CERN.
This event is part of the lead up to our trip to CERN itself at Easter. There we will get to see the actual apparatus used to produce these figures at the world's biggest science experiment.