Interactions News Wire #12-09
10 March 2009
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 10 March 2009
Hundreds of A-level students to see the 'real' science from CERN
Two months before the release of Hollywood's adaptation of Dan Brown's
best-selling science fiction novel 'Angels and Demons', hundreds of
A-level students will get to see the 'real' science from CERN (the world's
largest particle physics laboratory, based in Geneva) where part of the
movie was filmed.
The 16-18 year olds will come to the Science and Technology Facilities
Council's (STFC's) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) over the next
three days (11th-13th March 2009) for the annual 'Particle Physics
Masterclass'. The sessions, designed to encourage more students to move
into a career in science, involve students from as many as forty schools
across the South East. Across the world, as many as six hundred schools
take part in classes like these.
The sessions include interactive workshops, where students get to work
with data simulated for the large particle collider experiments at CERN.
Through this, they'll get an insight into how experiments will work when
the Large Hadron Collider (world's most powerful particle accelerator)
re-starts in September. There'll also be lectures from physics experts and
tours of some of the STFC's key facilities including ISIS (the
world-leading neutron and muon source) and Diamond (a giant synchrotron
the size of five football pitches).
Dr Glenn Patrick of RAL's Particle Physics Department said; "Particle
physics is one of those inspiring areas which is known to attract school
children into studying science at University and potentially into a
scientific career. With these masterclasses, which we're running here for
the twelfth year, we provide an exciting overview of recent developments,
such as the Large Hadron Collider, and provide the opportunity to see
front-line research in action."
Notes to editors
Journalists wishing to report on the Masterclasses are welcome on site on
Wednesday 11th March between 11.30am and 1.30pm but arrangements must be
made in advance with the press office.
Please contact the press office for more details.
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Tel Number: 01235 445627
The National Particle Physics Masterclass is a popular series of one day
events for sixth form students and their teachers, run by practicing
particle physics researchers at various institutes all over the country
and co-ordinated through the Institute of Physics.
Science and Technology Facilities Council
The Science and Technology Facilities Council ensures the UK retains its
leading place on the world stage by delivering world-class science;
accessing and hosting international facilities; developing innovative
technologies; and increasing the socio-economic impact of its research
through effective knowledge exchange partnerships.
The Council has a broad science portfolio including Astronomy, Particle
Physics, Particle Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, Space Science,
Synchrotron Radiation, Neutron Sources and High Power Lasers. In addition
the Council manages and operates three internationally renowned
- The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire
- The Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire
- The UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh
The Council gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds
the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Laboratory
for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL), European
Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the European organisation for
Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and the European
Space Agency (ESA). It also contributes money for the UK telescopes
overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, and the MERLIN/VLBI
National Facility, which includes the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank
The Council distributes public money from the Government to support
scientific research. Between 2008 and 2009 we will invest approximately