Particle Physics Taster Day at Imperial College
On the last day of the spring term, a group of Year 12 physics students, including myself, were invited to a particle physics taster day at Imperial College. The taster day offered many opportunities to the pupils attending, from lectures on subject-specific matters to one to one conversations with the lecturers and professors.
Prior to the start of the lectures and activities planned for the day, we were given a folder with Large Hadron Collider (LHC) memorabilia including a big A3 poster and lots of informative leaflets on the LHC. Personally, this was something that immediately made me start the day with a positive attitude and even more eager to learn more about the subject.
The lectures imparted were beyond interesting and captivating. They varied from topics such as neutrino physics, to applications of High Energy Physics technologies. It is true that some of these concepts were challenging and hard to grasp, however the fact that we were exposed to them, only made us, or at least me, leave the lecture hall wanting to learn and understand more on the field of particle physics.
The taster day also offered students the chance to experience what working on the LHC would feel like by giving us a chance to make some plots using given particle data. This was something that I personally enjoyed as it made me realize that I could see myself working on something similar in the future. Furthermore, we got the opportunity to speak directly to the professors after their lectures and had a chance to ask them questions. They all had a contagious enthusiasm and love of the topics they discussed in their lectures as well as a surprising interest on the questions the students asked. The experience as a whole was unique and I feel lucky to have been offered the opportunity to attend such an event. It has had an influence on me as a physics pupil as well as on my choices for further education.
By Carlos Barredo Martinez