TUTORIAL: Take the Collider for a Spin

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Science  13 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5660, pp. 935c
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5660.935c

Get a crash course in particle physics and deciphering the structure of matter at Hands-on-CERN, a tutorial that explains the workings of the famous atom smasher near Geneva. Physicist Erik Johansson of Stockholm University and colleagues are still polishing up the English version, but the site provides high school students with plenty of background on the quarks, gluons, and other particles that form matter and carry forces. Visitors can take a virtual trip more than 100 meters below ground to learn how the accelerators at CERN push electrons and positrons to nearly the speed of light. Animations help explain how detectors register the products of high-energy collisions. After studying a primer on the tracks that these different particles leave behind, students can analyze results from CERN experiments.


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