Particle Physics at OLHS

Report and photos by Mr Law. Additional photos by Miss McGinty

Dr Aidan Robson from the University of Glasgow delivered a stimulating and highly enlightening presentation to our Higher Physics class on Friday 6th March. As Co-convener of the ATLAS-UK Standard Model working group at the Large Hadron Collider of CERN in Switzerland, he is clearly a world expert in this area of physics.

With clear explanations and analogy he explained about the Standard Model of the fundamental particles that our universe is made from and why we accept it with regard to the work at CERN.

Providing all we needed in order to build our own cloud chambers (particle detectors) our students set out to provide the high temperature gradient required for the saturated “mist” that enabled us to view the jet plane like contrail paths resulting from the cosmic particle collisions all around us.   Clear plastic tumblers, masking tape and felt brought back memories of Blue Peter, although the dry ice was never required to my recollection.

As particle physics is a part of the new Curriculum for Excellence Higher, this activity was certainly a welcome and extremely useful supplement to the course.

Well done to the students and staff thoroughly engrossed in participating and, thanks again to Dr. Robson for his time and resources.

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