Expedition to the world of elementary particles — Virtual Masterclass with GSI/FAIR at Schuldorf Bergstraße
How was the universe created? What are we made of? What does the "world machine" at CERN investigate? These were the questions that science enthusiasts were able to pursue during the “Week of the Particle World” (Woche der Teilchenwelt) from November 2 to 8, 2020. All over Germany, the locations of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt invited visitors to explore research in the field of particle and astroparticle physics. GSI and FAIR also took part in an online Masterclass for the analysis of measurement data from the CERN experiment ALICE, which was conducted together with the “AG MINT-Zentrum” at the school Schuldorf Bergstraße.
30 science locations, including GSI and FAIR, have joined forces to form the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt (engl. Network Particle World). For this year's tenth anniversary of the network, the participating research institutions combined a particularly large number of events and presented the entire spectrum of research — from Higgs particles and neutrinos to black holes and supernovae as gigantic particle catapults.
GSI and FAIR participated in an online Masterclass on November 5 and 6 to analyze measurement data from particle collisions of the ALICE experiment. Seven students of the AG MINT-Zentrum at Schuldorf Bergstraße took part in the virtual event. In addition to data analysis, the program included an exchange with other Masterclass groups via video conference as well as a virtual tour of the ALICE experimental site. ALICE is one of CERN's four large-scale experiments and in particular investigates heavy-ion collisions of lead atomic nuclei. From the very beginning GSI has played a major role in the construction and operation of ALICE.
About 200 researchers are active in Netzwerk Teilchenwelt. Their aim is to inspire young people and teachers with their enthusiasm for particle physics and to get them excited about MINT subjects. To this end, they offer project days in schools, student laboratories or museums throughout the year. As particle physicists, the young people can spend a day analyzing real data from CERN, tracking down particles from outer space or discussing the origins and structure of the universe with scientists. Workshops and project weeks for particularly interested students take place at CERN in Geneva and at research institutes in Germany.
The “Week of the Particle World” is part of the anniversary program of the German Physical Society (DPG). The world's largest physics society is the patron of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt and this year is looking back on 175 years of activity. The “Week of the Particle World” is supported by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.
Netzwerk Teilchenwelt is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the project KONTAKT (Communication, Attraction of Young Scientists and Participation of the General Public in Knowledge in the Field of Smallest Particles). The project management is at the TU Dresden. (Netzwerk Teilchenwelt/CP)