Particle & Accelerator Physics Masterclass
October 03rd 2019

Particle & Accelerator Physics Masterclass

Located in Cheshire on the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus, STFC Daresbury Laboratory is a world-renowned centre of excellence specialising in particle accelerator technology.  The laboratory is part of many international collaborations which include close links with CERN, and works to exploit and push the cutting edge of particle accelerator technology.  This technology underpins research in particle physics, and enables the construction of accelerator-based light sources which are the research tool for many other scientific fields such as condensed matter and semiconductor physics, chemistry and catalysis, materials science, protein crystallography and drug development.

The Cockcroft Institute at Daresbury Laboratory is an international centre for accelerator R&D, and it will host the Laboratory’s next annual Particle Physics Masterclass between March 3rd and March 5th, 2020.  It is a fabulous opportunity for A-Level and GCSE students with an interest in physics to get a real insight into the technologies which underpin 21st century particle accelerators, and to see how these machines are used to push the boundaries of scientific technique and knowledge.  Staff from the Institute will lead this masterclass which combines lectures, demonstrations and hands-on practical sessions. The aim is to give an overview of basic accelerator technology and how this has been used to deliver recent projects such as ALICE accelerator (Accelerators and Lasers in Combined Experiments) and the currently under construction CLARA, a state-of-the-art tuneable laser light known as a free-electron laser (FEL).  

This years’ programme will include:

  • A history of the Daresbury Laboratory, the Cockcroft Institute and the accelerator facilities it has hosted, including a guided tour of a particle accelerator (subject to machine operation).
  • A ‘Particle physics and the LHC’ lecture delivered by the University of Manchester.
  • A dynamic exercise involving rapid interactive talks and quizzes.
  • A lecture on magnetic fields and the purpose and design of accelerator magnets.
  • Demonstrations of vacuum, electrostatic acceleration and superconductivity – all critical enabling technologies in modern accelerators.
  • Opportunities to discuss careers in science and engineering with our current staff, students and apprentices.

The class runs from 09:30 until 16:00, with a lunch break where Cockcroft Institute staff will be present – this is a great opportunity for students to talk to real physicists and engineers about what they do.  Prior to the class, we will send participating schools a classroom preparatory exercise supported by a PowerPoint presentation in which students can estimate the electron beam energy in the CLARA accelerator using a few simple measurements.

For further information or booking, please email Wendy Cotterill, or call on 01925 603408.

Note to teachers:

  • The masterclass is aimed primarily at sixth form students and high-achieving year 11 students.
  • Attendance is limited to a maximum of 80 students per day.  These students are split into 4 groups for practical reasons, with a maximum of 20 students in each group.
  • We are unable to provide lunch for visitors during this event. Facilities to purchase lunch on site are limited and will be busy with staff and so we must require that all students bring packed lunches.

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Selena Ledgerton Selena Ledgerton
Selena Ledgerton Web, Media & Marketing Manager e: [email protected]