Particle physics

Contents

Particle physics resources

Here you will find a variety of useful resources such as websites, video clips, free publications, and even panoramic photographs of inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which are suitable for a wide range of audiences.

If you have produced a resource about the LHC and think others could benefit from it, please send it to the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) public engagement team to look at.

Email: stfcpublicengagement@stfc.ac.uk

Websites

Oxford Sparks is a portal for engaging with a wealth of exciting science taking place across Oxford University. Here you can find a number of free resources including videos, science trails, activities to try at home, mobile phone apps, games, podcasts, virtual tours and plenty more.

The Institute of Physics’ education section highlights latest curriculum development initiatives, Affiliated Schools Scheme and professional development.

Lancaster Particle Physics Package gives access to a number of simulations and explanations of particle physics, including a section on the LHC. The content is suitable for AS and A level students.

CERN teacher resources allow teachers to introduce topics in modern physics to middle and high school students.

CERN’s ‘Angels and Demons’ site contains teacher resources, slideshows and videos of talks given to teachers visiting CERN. The launch of the film Angels and Demons provided an opportunity to look at the myth versus the reality of the science at CERN.

Accelerate! is a live-action particle physics lecture that includes resources to help you put on your own version of the show. Designed for 11 to 18-year-olds and the general public, Accelerate! demonstrates the principles of particle accelerators through a series of ‘hands-on’ demonstrations.

Explore your Universe is a national programme of events, experiments and resources to help teach young people and their families about space and particle physics.

Physics kit resources, developed at Queen Mary University of London for students and teachers, use LEGO® to illustrate particle physics concepts. The lesson plans, activity sheets and booklets cover curriculum linked topics in radiation and particle physics.

Minerva is a masterclass tool allowing students to learn more about the physics that goes on in the ATLAS detector at the LHC.

Images

STFC’s image library contains images related to particle physics activity in the UK as well as pictures from CERN.

CERN’s image gallery is an extensive, searchable library of images and animations, which includes the LHC, scientists and engineers, the CERN site and historical images.

Films

Colliding Particles is a series of films following just one of the teams of physicists involved in the research at the LHC. The project documents their work at the frontiers of particle physics, exploring the human stories behind the research and investigating the workings of the scientific process itself.

Backstage Science takes you ‘backstage’ at some of the UK’s most amazing science facilities. They include space telescopes, powerful lasers and football-field sized experiments.

In search of giants is a series of 15 short films starring Professor Brian Cox as he takes us on a journey discussing interesting facts about particle physics.

Go LHC go is a 13-minute film that describes the LHC and two of the experiments:

  • ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus)
  • ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment).

The ATLAS experiment movie is an award-winning short film, introducing the ATLAS experiment and the fundamental physics the LHC will explore.

CERN’s video database hosts video clips of the LHC project and historical material on the CERN website.

60 second adventures in astronomy is series of 12, 60-second animations voiced by David Mitchell that examine different scientific concepts from the Big Bang to relativity, from black holes to dark matter.

Animations

The basics of the Higgs boson. CERN scientists Dave Barney and Steve Goldfarb explain the exciting implications of the Higgs boson.

What happened to antimatter? CERN scientist Rolf Landua returns to the seconds after the Big Bang to explain the disparity that allows humans to exist today.

Exploration on the big data frontier. See CERN’s involvement with big data from fifty years ago to today.

The beginning of the universe, for beginners. Cosmologists and particle physicists explore these questions by replicating the heat, energy and activity of the first few seconds of our universe, from right after the Big Bang.

Dark matter: the matter we can’t see. CERN scientist James Gillies tells us what accounts for the remaining 96% (dark matter and dark energy) and how we might go about detecting it.

STFC publications

STFC offers a range of teaching resource publications to support physics education.

External publications

Elementary constituents of matter is a poster from the International Particle Physics Outreach Group that details the fundamental particles and interactions that make up the Universe.

Visit particle physics research facilities

CERN

A visit to CERN is simply a unique experience and surprisingly easy to arrange.

How to visit CERN.

STFC’s Particle and Nuclear Physics Outreach Officer can also offer advice and guidance on how to set up a visit.

Email: stfcpublicengagement@stfc.ac.uk

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Harwell, Oxfordshire, is home to ISIS, one of the world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon sources. It is also home to the Particle Physics Research Group.

Additionally, RAL houses the Central Laser Facility, the Diamond Synchrotron Light Source and the Space Test Facilities.

How to visit the RAL.

Last updated: 26 July 2022

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