- Sixth Form
On 8th March, Georgie (UVI), Aria (LVI), Amelia (UV), Ridaa (LV) and Zeta (LV) attended the Royal Institution’s 220th Birthday celebration lecture. The event was live streamed over YouTube and was hosted by celebrity physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster Helen Czerski.
This lecture discussed the most ambitious new idea in Physics– a gigantic particle collider that would eclipse the world's current biggest scientific instrument, the Large Hadron Collider. The 'Future Circular Collider' (FCC) is a plan for a 100km ring-shaped particle accelerator buried underground near Geneva, which will be many times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider. This awesome machine will allow physicists to seek answers to some of the deepest questions about our universe including the nature of dark matter, the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe and whether a deeper theory lies beneath the current Standard Model of particle physics.
It was very interesting to take a deeper look at the work that goes into making large scientific endeavours possible, and learning about the science behind these subatomic particle colliders was fascinating.
The first speaker was Dr Harry Cliff, a particle physicist based at the University of Cambridge who works on the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He discussed the research that would be undertaken at the LCC, which will focus on searching for signs of new particles and forces beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. He took us on a fascinating tour of the fundamental particles that have been discovered, right up to the Higg’s Boson.
It was interesting hearing about the financial side and how to get the project started.
The second speaker was Professor John Womersley, one of the world’s foremost particle physicists. He has taken leading roles on projects both in Europe and the United States, and explained the logistics of financing and constructing the FCC. The problems presented by such an expensive (€21 billion) international project are immense, but he is confident it can be achieved.
The lecture was pitched at a good level for our group, it explained the basics of particle physics in simple terms but went on to discuss more complex theories and ideas (such as the idea that the Higgs Boson could interact with both matter and antimatter). It was interesting how one of the speakers talked about the business side of creating a bigger hadron collider, like pitching the idea to cynical audiences, or working out how to split the funding of the project. Overall it was a great trip.
It was a fascinating and informative evening that made us all think about how big science can bind communities together in grand projects that transcend national borders.
By Mr Brittain - Teacher of Physics
- LEH Science