the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
Prep Particle Physics Workshop
18 March 2016
Year 4 girls joined in the EHS Stem Day with a very interesting workshop on particle physics. Dr Maria, who ran the sessions, was certainly impressed with the girls’ knowledge of neutrons, protons and electrons within atoms.
Activity 1: What is inside an atom?
Using soft toys, the girls made a heavy hydrogen atom with 1 neutron, electron and proton. Then they unzipped the neutron and proton to see what was inside each: they concluded atoms are a bit like Russian dolls because the neutrons and protons had even smaller particles inside them!
Activity 2: Asking questions about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider
The girls were amazed to learn scientists at CERN use a massive tunnel approximately the size of the M42 to smash protons together. They were astounded to find out that in the time it takes us to blink once a proton can go around the circular tunnel nearly 10,000 times! When the protons smash into each other an enormous 'camera' called ATLAS takes photographs of the trails left by the 2 up quarks and 1 down quark in each proton. ATLAS is huge; 25m wide and 46m long! Many girls now want to go on holiday to visit CERN.
Activity 3: Making models of particles CERN scientists have observed.
Using art materials, the girls planned their designs and then each person produced a different sub atomic particle to take home. They made beauty (bottom) quarks, up quarks, gluons, Higgs boson, charm quarks and photons along with antiquarks to name but a few.
Prep Science Co-ordinator
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