Particle Physics CERN Seminar

Physics students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull focussed on Particle Physics this week with the help of an expert speaker from the University of Birmingham and C.E.R.N.

Dr Nigel Watson, spoke about the field of Particle Physics with direct reference to his work at the Large Hadron Collider at C.E.R.N. in Geneva. He went into detail of the theoretical physics and mathematical models that give rise to new particles and the incredible engineering that is designed to find them. Also as part of a very interactive session, students used scintillators in the lab to look for charged particles from various angles, calculate their speed and so determine if they were from the upper atmosphere (solar wind) travelling at close to the speed of light, or if they were slower particles from other sources close to the earth.

Students asked a variety of other non-particle physics-related questions, which Dr Watson answered with typical tenacity. Finally as a University of Birmingham Admissions Tutor, he explained the admissions process to all physics courses and the potential traps of choosing minority paired subjects, such as Physics and Philosophy.

Physics teacher Rick Homer, commented:

“As an academic, Nigel is a great asset to the Physics and Engineering department and we hope to strengthen the links we have with University of Birmingham in the future.”

1 July 2019