Elementary Particles and High Energy Physics @the Frontiers

Located near Geneva and the Jura Mountains of France, CERN, currently home to the world's largest super collider, is the pre-eminent European research physics organization (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire). CERN operates the world's most extensive particle physics laboratory. With boundary-pushing accelerators and detectors, including the Large Hadron Collider, CERN has been behind a large fraction of all physics breakthroughs in the last 60 years, including the Higgs Boson, anti-hydrogen, and many other elementary and exotic particles, as well testing the limits of modern theoretical physical understanding. It is truly science at the brink of the unknown and unexpected.

This course introduces and investigates basic particle and high energy physics through a research program that culminates in the submission of a proposal to the CERN 2018 Beamline Student B4S Competition.  Winning home- and high-school-age students from around the world have the chance to create and perform a scientific experiment on a CERN accelerator beamline through this competition. Aspiring physicists design a simple and creative high energy physics experiment and submit a formal proposal and video by March 31, 2018. 

Ti2 objectives: learn joyfully and ignite dreams!

What better way to learn physics than to be a physicist--theoretical or experimentalist?

Ti2 is excited to facilitate team entry into the 2018 CERN B4S Competition. In this course designed to inspire and engage students in CERN-relevant research, participants explore specific areas of physics, including:

  • atomic physics
  • electromagnetic waves
  • quantum mechanics
  • relativity
  • rundamental forces
  • The Standard Model
  • high-energy physics
  • accelerator and detector design
  • open questions in modern physics

Students work collaboratively to brainstorm ideas centered around their interests, develop a well-researched interdisciplinary scientific proposal, and create a compelling document and video advocating for the team's research. Participation in this courses involves the use of collaborative online facilitation and is likely to require additional off schedule virtual and in person meetings. Fostering team development will be essential to a positive experience--making strong commitment to participation a prerequisite.

The CERN Beamline Competition involves the use of high power and a one-of-its-kind laboratory, so winning teams of students are subject to the facility's restrictions:

  1. Students MUST have parental permission.
  2. All student experimental physicists must be 16 by September 2018--have a birthday before September 2002. (For safety reasons, the CERN beamline has a hard age minimum of 16.)
  3. Student theoretical physicists, data analysts, (offsite) engineers, and science writers may be younger, but they are not permitted to physically perform accelerator experiments at the CERN facility. They can participate remotely and are acknowledged as full team members.
  4. A team must have at least five students.

Ti2 Prerequisites: A good understanding of atomic physics and waves. Algebra and trigonometry preferred. Since accelerator physics intersects with chemical and biological sciences as well as science communications, serious interdisciplinary investigators are welcome! The capacity to understand physics concepts, the self discipline to learn them, and the maturity to participate productively on a collaborative team are as (if not more) important to entering the Ti2 research program as those with advanced content knowledge/understanding.

Ti2 has consulted with CERN program administrators; homeschool students are welcome to participate. This research program requires motivation and maturity. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with Ti2 staff. The minimum age for non-experimentalists will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

This course starts in Fall Term and ends in mid-Spring Term. For additional enrollment information contact 617 340-9907.