APS News

UCL School Physicist of the Year

On thursday 30th June I was lucky enough to be invited to UCL for the 2016 School Physicist of the Year awards.  It was a truly delightful evening, with the UCL building looking grand in early evening sunlight.  The undergrads explained the project they were showing at the Royal Societies summer exhibition and there was a half-hour talk by Jon Butterworth, which was the best on particle physics I have ever heard.

However, the stars of the show were the students Rabia Turemis (Y12) and Done Kahyalar (Y10) from APS.  Both attended with their families and were awarded 'School Physicist of the Year' along with students from Latymer School, Highgate School, Channing School and Edmonton County School.  The comments below were written by their teachers and were read out as the students collected their certificate and goody bag containing Smashing Physics by Jon Butterworth.  The year 10s also received Thing Explainer by Randall Monroe, whilst the year 12s were gifted What if, also by Randall Monroe.  I am sure the students will enjoy them and it will encourage them to ask more questions and think about how they explain physics concepts to others.  Many contratulations to Rabia and Done!

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Year 12 Visit to CERN 2016

The Physics department has recently returned from our third annual three residential visit to CERN, Geneva.  28 Year 12 physics students enjoyed a highly informative lecture from a CERN physicist and a tour of the CMS detector, one of 4 detectors of the Large Hadron Collider.  The tour, led by another CERN physicist, took the students 100m underground to observe the control room from where the data from the proton collisions is analysed.  Along the way our CERN physicist was able to explain and demonstrate how the LHC operates and describe how the protons are accelerated to almost the speed of light and made to collide.  The students heard first-hand how the Higgs Boson was discovered and its importance in understanding how our Universe began.

We also had the chance to visit the two museums at CERN giving the students a hands on opportunity to understand how the proton beam is controlled and also the other applications and discoveries made at CERN. For example students were given the opportunity to investigate how to destroy a brain tumour using proton beam therapy.

When not visiting CERN our students were able to enjoy the delights of Swiss culture ranging from swimming in the famous Lake Geneva to a free volleyball tournament.  Needless to say all the students had a wonderful time and the physics department looks forward to returning next year.  Here are a selection of comments from our students.

Link to CERN article on Ogden website

The second day was the best because we got to go to CERN where we learnt a lot about the Large Hadron Collider. We learnt what changes are made and how they are using the hadron collider to discover new fundamental particles. The food in the CERN was very delicious and there were many choices to choose form. The weather was extremely hot so we went swimming in the lake. Thanks for a great trip.Gozde Gultekin
A great trip with lots of things to learn and a majestic city. The guide around CERN was interesting and I learned a lot of new information that I couldn’t have learnt in a classroom. In the museum I could see all the components and parts of the LHC and there were a lot of interactive activities to make it more fun.Mayan Patel Vaithilingam
I was able to get an in-depth understanding of what happens at CERN, understand and appreciate the importance of the research they do there. The scale and thought put into the LHC is awe-inspiring. This is the first time I’ve seen the product of minds coming together and it really makes me excited for the future of particle physics. Plus Switzerland is amazing.Deji Adeoshun
I enjoyed the tour around CERN and learnt a lot more about it. I would recommend this trip to anyone with an interest to physics.Dominic Philip Osumba Blanchet
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Undergraduate talk to year 12 Physics students

Our year 12 physics students recently attended a talk from two physics undergraduates from University College London.  The interesting and challenging talk covered a range of topics including particle physics and electromagnetism in the preparation for our annual residential trip to CERN in the summer.

The two students were also able to give the students a first hand account of what life is like at university and their undergraduate physics course. They were able to give some extremely helpful advice regarding the UCAS application process and how to maximise their chances of achieving a place at a top university. Here is a selection of comments from our students.

I found the talk very insightful and gave me a lot of knowledge on CERN. I also gained awareness on what life is like in university and how to write my personal statement. Dominic Short
I enjoyed the talk because it led to me learning more about the different types of physics at university and he gave helpful info for getting into university and settling in your first year Mustafa Ahmed
I found the talk useful because I attained more in depth knowledge of how University life will be and what I should prepare for when attending university Subham Khooblall

STFC Particle Physics Masterclass

Mr Hammond and 13 A level physics students were privileged to spend the day at the Rutherford Appleton laboratories in Oxfordshire. We heard talks form a range of working particle physicists as well as analysing real data collected from the ATLAS experiment at CERN. We were also given a tour of the diamond light source facility, the UK’s largest particle accelerator.

We enjoyed the lectures about the LHC and the tour of the Diamond Light source facilities as it showed practical applications of what we had learnt in our A2 lessons. It also showed us that you can take many different paths to reach a career in science. We also thought that the computer workshop was less interesting and could have been more engaging.Jamie and Alex 13E
The trip was very enjoyable as we got to see what we have been learning gin action in a real life facility. I especially enjoyed the lectures and learning advanced things about the field of particle physics. I also enjoyed how they showed us what paths are available down the line for jobs in particle physics. I would recommend this trip to my friends who are interested.Joshua, Douglas-Evans 12D.
To listen to scientists give lectures and to hear about what actually happens at CERN was very interesting and a great experience. To get a better understanding of the Higgs Field and the Higgs Boson really sparked my interest and got me thinking about the physics. Having a look at how Atlas detects different sub atomic particles was I think will prepare me better for A2 physics and understand the physics behind it. I also enjoyed seeing the particle accelerator and understanding what Diamond actually do. One small comment would be that the day was not targeted at schools outside of oxford as we missed some of the lectures/activates.Stephen Mason 12L
I really enjoyed working with the actual data from Atlas and it was interesting to hear about the applications of particle physics in medicine. The lectures gave a real insight into life at a place like CERN as well as the applications of the science we had learnt about both in research and commercially.Kitty, Sam, Theo and Matthew
It was an inspiring and thought-provoking visit. I absolutely loved acting like an actual particle physics data analyst and examining genuine data from ATLAS. It exceeded my expectations in general.Alex