Higgs boson and Beyond
Researchers from the School's Particle Physics groups took part in "The Higgs Boson and Beyond" exhibit at the Royal Society Exhibition in London in July.
Fifteen thousand people visited the week-long Summer Science Exhibition, including the general public and school groups as well as evening soirees with Royal Society Fellows and VIPs. The School's Particle Physics Experiment group was heavily involved in the organisation of the exhibition this year.
The exhibit showed how recent measurements at the ATLAS and CMS experiments of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) earned the 2013 Nobel prize for Physics for Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. Demonstrations also explained how the Higgs Boson gives clues to new physics that lies beyond what we already know. This was done through various activities commissioned especially for the exhibit, that allowed visitors to play with (and make) knitted fundamental particles, measure the Higgs mass as 70s physicists would have done, play Spinball to learn about the Higgs spin, and to win prizes by finding rare-decays of the Higgs Boson (in pin-badge form) and much much more.
"It was a great honour to be a part of the Summer Science Higgs boson exhibition! I found it extremely rewarding to see understanding dawn in the eyes of curious children and take part in many fruitful discussions with interested visitors.
"As a scientist, communicating with the public helps remind me of the 'big picture' of the CERN laboratory and its experiments, and I am privileged in turn to grow an excitement for particle physics outside the scientific community." Flavia Dias, Particle Physics Experiment group, School of Physics
Wahid Bhimji co-led the overall exhibition planning, bringing together activities from all 18 particle physics groups in the UK. Flavia Dias led on the online presence, including the popular Twitter feed and Q&A. As well as Flavia and Wahid, Edinburgh group members Victoria Martin and Ben Wynne also demonstrated at the exhibit.
RSE event website: Summer Science: Higgs Boson
The exhibit and booklet were co-sponsored by the University of Edinburgh and the Higgs Centre, together with the other UK universities involved and STFC.