Beyond the Atom: Remodelling Particle Physics, Second Edition
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This resource includes activities with hands-on models of particle physics phenomena, real data from particle physics experiments and card sorts. It connects to curriculum topics of atomic models, electric and magnetic fields, energy, momentum, and the Standard Model.
Scattering Experiment
Students move one charged balloon toward another balloon to demonstrate electrostatic repulsion. Students roll marbles toward a stemmed glass and observe the directions the marbles bounce. This is a model of alpha particles hitting a gold nucleus. Students then learn about Rutherford’s gold foil experiment and the relative scales of the nucleus and atoms.
Taming the Particle Zoo
Students sort cards with subatomic particles on them to discover patterns. These patterns helped particle physicists discover new particles and the quark model. Students analyze the electric charge and strangeness values of various subatomic particles.
Bubble Chamber Detective
Students study tracks left by charged particles in bubble chamber experiments. They use their knowledge of magnetic fields and forces, conservation of momentum, and conservation of charge to infer what is happening and reconstruct the invisible trajectories of uncharged particles.
Discovering the Mass of the Higgs Boson
Students analyze real data from the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN. They use conservation of momentum and conservation of mass-energy to calculate the mass of the Higgs boson.
Antimatter Matters
Students study and manipulate Feynman diagram cards. They then figure out which Feynman diagram best matches an image that shows electron-positron annihilation.