Durham sixth formers go sub-atomic at Particle Physics Masterclasses
(13 April 2005)
The fascinating world of particle physics will be explored by Durham's sixth form students as part of a series of one day events held nationwide throughout March and April.
The National Particle Physics Masterclasses are now in their ninth year of operation and are very popular with sixth formers and their teachers. Each Masterclass provides an exciting opportunity to meet practising particle physicists and relates school particle physics curricula to current experiments and research.
This year the Masterclasses are being held at 16 institutes around the country, in association with the Institute of Physics High Energy Particle Physics Group. Programmes include talks by particle physicists as well as hands-on experience of analysing real particle collisions from the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN).
All the Masterclasses use data analysis software specifically designed for use by schools and the talks at individual institutions vary according to local expertise. Various themes for this year cover the mysteries of antimatter, the search for the Higgs Boson and the future of neutrino factories.
Pupils may also have the chance to visit facilities on site or interact with hands-on equipment from the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Dr. Pete Edwards, who is involved in the University of Durham Masterclass, said "We are always greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm young people show for particle physics at these events.” The Masterclasses are primarily intended for those students taking modules which include particle physics at 'A' or 'AS' level, but are also open to any physics student or teacher interested in studying or teaching the subject.
The 2005 Masterclasses at Durham University on 19th and 20th April are now fully booked. Booking information for other venues is available at:
For further information contact : Dr.Pete Edwards, Understanding of Science Officer, Department of Physics. Tel 0191 334 3782 or e-mail email@example.com
Or : Andrew Morrison, PPARC Education Officer, Tel: 01793 442175 e-mail Andrew.Morrison@pparc.ac.uk
Media enquiries to : Anna Starkey, PPARC Particle Physics Outreach Officer, Tel: 07841 406 861 e-mail :firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors :
- The Institute of Physics is a leading international professional body and learned society with over 37,000 members, which promotes the advancement and dissemination of a knowledge of and education in the science of physics, pure and applied. It has a world-wide membership and is a major international player in scientific publishing and electronic dissemination of physics; setting professional standards for physicists and awarding professional qualifications; promoting physics through scientific conferences, education and science policy advice.
The Institute is a member of the Science Council, and a nominated body of the Engineering Council. The Institute works in collaboration with national physical societies and plays an important role in transnational societies such as the European Physical Society and represents British and Irish physicists in international organisations. In Great Britain and Ireland the Institute is active in providing support for physicists in all professions and careers, encouraging physics research and its applications, providing support for physics in schools, colleges and universities, influencing government and informing public debate.
- The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK's strategic science investment agency. By directing, coordinating and funding research, education and training in particle physics and astronomy, PPARC delivers world-leading science, technologies and people for the UK. Based in Swindon, along with several other research councils, PPARC operates three scientific sites: the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, the Isaac Newton Group in La Palma and the Joint Astronomy Centre in Hawaii.
- The Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) is one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research organisations supporting scientists and engineers world-wide. It operates world-class large-scale research facilities on its three sites (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire and Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire), provides strategic advice to the government on their development and manages international research projects in support of a broad cross-section of the UK research community.
- Durham University has one of the leading physics departments in the UK. For the fourth year running, Durham has come out top in The Times survey of UK Physics & Astronomy departments. Each year there is an intake about 130 students to study for degrees in Physics, Physics & Astronomy, Theoretical Physics and Physics & Mathematics.
- In the latest round of the HEFCE Quality Assurance Agency national assessment of university teaching standards we received the maximum possible rating of 24. Our research ranges from fundamental topics such as elementary particle physics and cosmology to applied areas which receive substantial support from industry.