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On Wednesday 14th February, a small group of Year 8 students were given an excellent opportunity to visit Liverpool University. Whilst there, students took their seats in the Lecture Theatre to listen to Dr Barry King, a Research Fellow for the Particle Physics Department.

Dr King talked about the history of discoveries that have enabled us to have our current understanding of the atom. From simple beginnings, through to the famous Geiger-Marsden gold foil experiment with Rutherford’s discovery of the atomic nucleus, and right up to current experiments at their ATLAS station at CERN. Dr King showed students some of the images taken every 50 nanoseconds from their detectors as subatomic particles are fired together at phenomenal speeds in order to find evidence for more particles like the Higgs Boson.

Students were able to hold parts of the detectors that have actually been built at Liverpool and some delicate foil cylinders that particles are fired through in other experiments. Finally, Dr King showed students how this technology has filtered through to real-life applications such as the detectors in their cameras on mobile phones and MRI scanning for medical diagnosis.

Overall students enjoyed the lecture and were inspired to continue their scientific education up to university and hopefully continue in the discoveries of the world around us. A special thanks also goes out to the Culcheth Rotary Club for organising and funding the coach for this visit.

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