Master classes are a unique opportunity for high-school students, where they can hunt particles at the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] and analyse real data from the experiments. Each year, in spring, research institutes and universities around the world open their doors and invite students for daylong visits. This year’s International Master classes were organized in March, under the auspices of the International Particle Physics Outreach Groups [IPPOG], and attracted more than 10 000 students.
In the Master class, students gained insight into the international organization of modern research in an authentic environment. At the same time, they learned about the world of subatomic particles through easy-to-understand presentations by physicists. “Students can work on real data from the LHC, collected just few months ago,” says Michael Kobel, physics professor at the Technical University Dresden, Germany, and head of the program. Three experiments – ATLAS, CMS, and ALICE – have made data available for educational use within the program. For example, students could rediscover the Z boson or the structure of the proton, reconstruct “strange particles”, or hunt for the Higgs boson.
Scientists at 160 universities and laboratories in 37 countries hosted Master classes. New participants in the program came from the Middle East (Cyprus, Egypt, Palestinian Authority, and Turkey) and from Romania. The worldwide participation reflects the international collaboration in particle physics. Students were able to experience this international aspect in a videoconference concluding their day of research with students in other countries and with CERN or Fermilab participants where they presented their findings.
More information is available on the International Master classes website.