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UT Arlington presents particle physics master class for teens

News Release — 24 March 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, 817-272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington hosts a Particle Physics Master Class for high school students from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in Room 126 of the Chemistry and Physics Building, 700 Planetarium Place. The class is part of an international exercise which affords about 6,000 high school students the opportunity to be particle physicists for a day. 

A dozen students selected from Fort Worth and Arlington will work with data gathered by the large particle collider experiments at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. They will examine the collisions of elementary particles traveling at nearly the speed of light, racing through a 27-kilometer-circumference accelerator. The students will use computer programs to analyze data from particle collisions. They will compare and discuss their results with participants in other countries - just like actual particle physicists do in international collaborations - via videoconference.

This will be the fifth year for the annual master classes. Scientists at universities and laboratories in 23 countries are hosts of the international student research days. UT Arlington is one of 22 U.S. institutions participating. Physics Professor Andrew White said the opportunity to experience state-of-the-art research in an authentic environment allows students to gain insight into the international organization of modern research, while learning about the world of subatomic particles through easy-to-understand presentations by physicists involved in particle physics research.

The hands-on particle physics student research days take place under the central coordination of Physics Professor Michael Kobel, University of Dresden, Germany,  in  cooperation with the European Particle Physics Outreach Group (EPPOG) and with the support of the Helmholtz Alliance "Physics at the Terascale" and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF.

As part of the program, students receive a CD-ROM with materials related to particle physics, translated into 17 languages with the help of the EPPOG and support of the European Physical Society (EPS). The CD offers interactive learn-and-work material about the fundamental building blocks of nature and the instruments used to study them.

The EPPOG is an independent committee of representatives of CERN member states and the research laboratories CERN and DESY, the German research center for particle physics. The committee's goal is to make particle physics more accessible to the public.

Visit http://www.physicsmasterclasses.org or contact White at 817-272-2812 or awhite@uta.edu for more information.

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