Community Impact, Outreach

SCIPP Outreach Visit to Santa Cruz High School

SCIPP researchers visited the Santa Cruz High School AP Physics classes on October 26, 2023 to introduce students to particle physics research. Students gained hands-on experience with the “Big Analysis of Muons in ATLAS,” and learned about potential careers in physics and astrophysics. The class began with an overview of the particle zoo and the Large Hadron Collider. Then student groups analyzed events from the ATLAS experiment to identify electrons and muons, measure their momenta, and combine them into a parent particle hypothesis. The SCIPP team also had lunch with the Santa Cruz High School STEM club and answered questions about trends in particle physics and related fields.
Students utilized the Hypatia software to visualize and analyze events in the “Big Analysis of Muons in ATLAS” activity. The event display to the left shows the tracks of two high-momentum muons passing through the ATLAS detector into the muon chambers (blue), as might be expected from decays of a Z boson.

A special thanks to our collaborators in QuarkNet for developing this high school outreach activity and to the science teachers at Santa Cruz High for inviting us to their classes.