High energy particle physics attempts to answer some of the universe's "big questions". Lots of folks want to find out more about CERN, Dark Matter, Higgs Bosons, Black Holes, and other LHC physics. Below you can find links to some outreach activities I've been involved in.
`The Language of Symmetry'
I wrote one chapter of this book, which discusses of the structure and reach of symmetry by an interdisciplinary group from the arts, humanities and sciences at the University of Oxford. My chapter is entitled "Darkness, light and how symmetry might relate them". The book is also available from amazon.
Bringing the Large Hadron Collider data to Northern Ireland
With partners from the Institute for Research in Schools we're visiting Limavady Grammar School to find out about their analysis of data from CERN.
UK school students tell us about learning coding doing real particle physics research at school. Want to get your hands on some CERN data? Have your school join the project.
`Big Data' analysis with ATLAS at school
A video introduction to our new project rolling out to schools around the UK.
The project enables students at schools around the country to develop their own
code from scratch to analyse the Big Data from the Large Hadron Collider.
Higgs Hunters school students travel to CERN
A group of nine school students who participated in the Higgs Hunters school event travelled to CERN to present their results to members of the ATLAS collaboration.
This is what they saw.
Congratulations to all our Higgs Hunters
The HiggsHunters project has been recognised with a Vice Chancellor's award for Public Engagement with Research.
Elisabeth Baeten, one of our most dedicated Citizen scientists collected the award on behalf of the
Higgs Hunter community, and our partners IRIS and Zooniverse, and our funder STFC.
"I found a BUNDLE!"
For our HiggsHunters.org project more than 37,000 members of the public from more than 170 countries looked for interesting features in data from CERN. Our analysis shows some surprises, including that citizen scientists developed their own technical language when searching for new physics in ATLAS event displays.
"That's not what physics education is supposed to be about!"
A panel discussion on physics, philosophy and scientific modelling as part of Edinburgh Science Festival with Michela Massimsi of the University of Edinburgh at the National Museum of Scotland.
13 April 2017
Are term-time family holidays bad for pupils?
In a BBC article a spokesperson for the UK Department of Education was quoted as saying that "The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chances of achieving good GCSEs....".
Analysis reveals that lower performance is strongly correlated with other factors like pupils' illness and persistent truancy, but not with approved family holidays. Presented in this
TES article(pdf scan).
Also in the Mirror on ITV This Morning.
27 October to 1 November 2016
"That looks weird..."
Our 32,000 HiggsHunter citizen scientists from 179 countries were remarkably adept at finding interesting features in the collisions observed by the ATLAS experiment. The first paper from this project has just hit the physics preprint arXiv:
Also highlighted as a news story from ATLAS
10 October 2016
Taking CERN to school
Prof Peter Higgs and local school pupils join us to launch our HiggsHunters.org school analysis project, in collaboration with with the
Institute for Research in Schools videoget involved
16 September 2016
Hunting for baby Higgs bosons
Now everyone can look for new particles...
With the help of thousands of citizen scientists our HiggsHunters project is searching for new particles in an unusual way...
Our new app Collider allows you to play games, view collisions from CERN, and even hunt for the Higgs boson. It features full 3D graphics, event streaming from CERN, tutorials and new games.
download for Android phones and tablets, iPhone and iPad.
Our timely collider search for this very heavy exotic particle attracted much attention.
A particle of this type was searched for by W.T. Pooh and Piglet without success.
This April fool's paper also has the dubious honour of being the first ATLAS + CMS combined search,
albeit a somewhat informal combination...
The rejection letter from Physical Review Letters
and the invitation to appear at the Science Museum, London
show that the authors clearly understood the joke.
Awarded the IoP HEPP Group Science in Society Prize
for ``outstanding contributions to outreach in particle physics''
The University of Oxford has become part of Apple's iTunes U initiative, whereby universities around the world are making free podcasts available to be downloaded from Apple's portal.
My particle physics podcast can be downloaded from the Oxford iTunes site.
7 Oct 2008
The Large Hadron Collider - an atom-smasher - will beam sub-atomic particles around a huge tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border. Eventually, scientists hope to smash the particles into each other, recreating conditions thought to have occurred immediately after the Big Bang...
9 Sept 2008