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What's (the) Matter?, A Show on Elementary Particle Physics.

Author: Herbi K. Dreiner et al.
Url: https://arxiv.org/abs/1607.07478
Format: Ps, Pdf
Year: 2016
Category: Particle Physics
Pages: 113
Clicks: 218

We present the screenplay of a physics show on particle physics, by the Physikshow of Bonn University. The show is addressed at non-physicists aged 14 and communicates basic concepts of elementary particle physics including the discovery of the Higgs boson in an entertaining fashion. It is also demonstrates a successful outreach activity heavily relying on the university physics students. This paper is addressed at anybody interested in particle physics and/or show physics. This paper is also addressed at fellow physicists working in outreach, maybe the experiments and our choice of simple explanations will be helpful. Furthermore, we are very interested in related activities elsewhere, in particular also demonstration experiments relevant to particle physics, as often little of this work is published. Our show involves 28 live demonstration experiments. These are presented in an extensive appendix, including photos and technical details. The show is set up as a quest, where 2 students from Bonn with the aid of a caretaker travel back in time to understand the fundamental nature of matter. They visit Rutherford and Geiger in Manchester around 1911, who recount their famous experiment on the nucleus and show how particle detectors work. They travel forward in time to meet Lawrence at Berkeley around 1950, teaching them about the how and why of accelerators. Next, they visit Wu at DESY, Hamburg, around 1980, who explains the strong force. They end up in the LHC tunnel at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. Two experimentalists tell them about colliders and our heroes watch live as the Higgs boson is produced and decays. The show was presented in English at Oxford University and University College London, as well as Padua University and ICTP Trieste. It was 1st performed in German at the Deutsche Museum, Bonn (5/'14). The show has eleven speaking parts and involves in total 20 people.

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