Atlas CERN Virtual Tour

On the 18th of April me and my fellow physics classmates had a fascinating online meeting with Professor Philipp Gadow, an experimental particle physicist working at ATLAS (CERN).

To start with, he provided a brief overview of the standard model of particle physics, describing how the fundamental building blocks of the universe consist primarily of up and down quarks (making the nucleus of an atom) and electrons (in the orbitals of an atom).

Prof. Gadow presented us the mechanisms of ATLAS with the help of an extremely detailed Lego model and described the basic concepts of the different detectors. For example, the calorimeter, which measures the energy of a particle in the form of heat, produced when the particle interacts with the material in the calorimeter. He explained the process by which newly discovered particles are found from the collision of particles accelerated to near-light speeds.

Especially fascinating to me was how neutrinos could be indirectly detected in this process, using conservation of momentum. Additionally, he provided a short explanation about the Higgs boson and its significance, which lead to a short explanation of Quantum Field Theory. In conclusion, this virtual tour was an extremely interesting opportunity to learn more about the research taking place at ATLAS.


Miriam Pieber (7i, HL Physics) 


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