Nuclear Physics

Public Engagement Activities

With the prospect of nuclear power playing a big part in energy production in the near future, outreach work such as that which the Nuclear group undertakes is crucial to informing and educating the public.

For further information, or to suggest a project that you would like us to become involved in please contact us.

Forthcoming events

Keep an eye on the Headstart website for next year’s Nuclear Summer School, for sixth for students in their penultimate year. Applications will open September 2016.

Headstart Nuclear Summer School

Forty Year 12 students attend the Headstart nuclear physics summer school. The Headstart summer school has a busy four-day programme of lectures, practical lab sessions and visits to Daresbury Laboratory and Jodrell Bank, with a live video link to researchers in CERN on the final day. Topics covered ranged from applications of nuclear physics in medicine and the energy sector, to nuclear safety and risk, to particle detectors and the Higgs Boson. The summer school is residential, with attendees getting to experience university life by spending three nights in Hulme Hall.

The school will run again next July. Applications will open on the Headstart website on Sept 1st 2016.

For more information on Headstart courses click here.

I’m a scientist get me out of here

Dr Thomas Cocolios, a research fellow in the Nuclear Group, made it to the final of ‘I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!' The online competition, which runs three times a year, sees scientists in 13 themed ‘zones’ answering questions from secondary school pupils. Each day features a fast-paced live online chat with a school class, and then an eviction, as pupils vote for their favourite of the five scientists in their zone. At the end of the week, the final winner in each zone is awarded £500 to spend on a public engagement project of their choice.

Thomas was part of the Nuclear Zone, where 300 students bombarded the scientists with questions on everything from the sounds made by neutrons to the meaning of life itself. He planned on spending the £500 winnings on making a giant LEGO chart of the nuclides, but although he survived three evictions he lost the final head-to-head to Dr Clara Nellist, a Manchester graduate who’s now working at CERN.

Thomas said: “This was an amazing experience. The format was very engaging and the questions came from every direction and every angle of nuclear physics, so I really had to be sharp about it too.

“It’s a shame that I did not win in the end, but I’m happy to have gotten to the final round alongside Clara, an alumnus from The University of Manchester too! Now I definitely need to find a sponsor for those LEGO pieces and keep our School’s LEGO tradition going!”

See the questions Thomas answered, and apply to take part in the next event, at: link

STFC Resources

Visit the Science and Technology Facility Councils public engagement page here, for a wide range of Nuclear Physics outreach resources.

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