On Thursday 3rd March, a selected number of Year 13 students visited the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for a Particle Physics Masterclass in Harwell. Our day consisted of attending lectures by leading particle physicists from RAL and CERN, a tour of ISIS and computer exercises using Large Hadron Collider data.
The most interesting part of the day was walking around ISIS, which is a neutron source accelerator and seeing what we had learnt in A Level physics being applied in real life.
ISIS is a spallation neutron source. The neutrons it produces are mainly used in neutron scattering experiments to study the atomic structure and dynamics of materials. ISIS provides research capabilities for around 1600 scientists from a range of disciplines, and has been operating since 1985. ISIS evolved from the original Nimrod proton synchrotron, whose location is currently used for the synchrotron which generates the neutrons and muons used to study materials in ISIS.
The computer exercises using Large Hadron Collider data consisted of identifying particle tracks.
Overall, the day was very informative and beneficial to the current topics studied at A-Level.
Ayodimeji and Kirushney