Category Archives: LEGO

EPS-HEPP Outreach Prize

I am very honoured that today it was announced that I am one three people to receive the 2021 Outreach Prize of the High Energy and Particle Physics Division of the European Physics Society (EPS).

The award is mainly given for setting up ‘Build Your Own Particle Detector‘ as an international outreach programme that reaches to an unusually young audience and for the design of particle-detector interlocking-brick models, by now used at over 60 places around the world.

Find out more about the ‘Build Your Own Particle Detector’ programme, the original model of the ATLAS detector and other experiments not designed by myself, as well as previous and possible future events and workshops at build-your-own-particle-detector.org.

Congrats to Uta and Ken as well :)

ALICE in bricks

Over the past four months, and together with Christian Klein-Boesing, Marcus Mikorski and a few others, we have been running a workshop for high-school and early-university students to design and build the ALICE Experiment at CERN in LEGO bricks.
As part of the weekly meetings we had with the students we also introduced basic concepts of particle, heavy-ion and detector physics.

The workshop series was organised and funded by the ErUM-FSP T01 project “Expansion of ALICE at the LHC: experiments with the ALICE detector at CERN”, which in turn is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The first models in real-live bricks are foreseen to be build end of June 2021 at Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Münster, with both their ALICE groups taking a leading role in this effort.

The designs and parts lists will be made available on the Build Your Own Particle Detector website to join the already existing LEGO models of other LHC experiments.

Here’s a few rough teaser renderings from the current state of affairs …

Stay tuned for more updates to come soon!

[edit] The project has also been presented at the spring meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) that started today.

CERN Open Days

The CERN Open Days are already fading away, even though it was an adventure that already started in July 2018. I had the pleasure of coordinating the ATLAS activities for this 75k-visitors event together with Anna Sfyrla, Laetitia Bardo and a great team of about a dozen ATLAS members that helped us by coordinating one of our activities.

During the Open Days, which started with an underground-only family day on Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday evening, almost 300 ATLAS members joined as volunteers to make the ATLAS activities – as far as I am concerned – a huge success.

Continue reading CERN Open Days

IPPOG meeting,
ATLAS Week, Open Day

The past ten days have been somewhat crazy (unfortunately the upcoming ones don’t seem to be calmer) …

From 4 to 6 October I joined the autumn meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) at CERN as the representative of the ATLAS Collaboration, listening to and discussing about worldwide efforts in particle physics science education and communication. IPPOG – a global network of scientists, science educators and communication specialists – welcomed four new members at the end of the meeting: Austria, Denmark, the LHCb Collaboration and the ALICE Collaboration. Amongst other things we had brainstorm session on possible new exhibits to improve and extend the IPPOG resource database and how to communicate the knowledge transfer from particle physics to society.

From 8 to 12 October I was at CERN for the ATLAS Collaboration Week as well as lots of other meetings. In an intensive though productive outreach session, we dedicated a large fraction of the time to the status of and future plans for ATLAS Open Data. On Thursday we had 39 students from LMU Munich over for a full-day visit to CERN, in particular the  Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) Control Room, the CERN Control Centre, the magnet-test facility (SM18) as well as the ATLAS Visitor Centre. And … hohoho … I witnessed a very special VIP (white-bearded guy dressed in red) visit to ATLAS last week ;)

Last but not least, on 13 October we had our annual Open Day in Garching, this time incorporated into the 150 years TUM celebrations (who shouldn’t get any credits, because they didn’t print our activity in the official programme … buh!). Similar to last year’s event, we had the ground floor of the Institute for Advanced Studies and showed the ATLAS LEGO model, hosted a Build Your Own Particle Detector event/competition and had a little particle physics exhibition with live event displays from CERN, short movies about ATLAS and CERN, the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt button machine and loads of discussions. Finally we hosted a screening of ‘BBC Horizon – Inside CERN‘, a documentary about the ‘famous’ 750 GeV bump in 2015 LHC data, as well as an extensive question-and-answer sessions afterwards.

Open Day & Fotohalbmarathon

Wow … what a weekend. After returning from the LHC LLP Workshop in Trieste at 7am on Saturday, I went straight to Garching to set up the scene for our 2017 Garching Open Day event starting at 11am. After getting home at 10pm I got started on the final preparations for Sunday’s 2017 Fotohalbmarathon. But one after the other …

Once again, and thanks to a great team, we had an exemplary Open Day event on Saturday … ATLAS live-info screens and posters, a button machine, a BYOPD competition, a large ATLAS LEGO model, short-film screenings throughout the day, a screening of “BBC Horizon – Inside CERN” in the evening, and several hundred people passing by (47 participants in the BYOPD competition) and chatting/discussing with us. The final QnA after the movie took longer than the movie itself :)

On Sunday I organised the ninth (my fifth) edition of our little version of a photo marathon, called Fotohalbmarathon. This year’s twelve topics followed the theme ‘Urban Globetrotter‘.

For both events the juries are still busy working out the best contributions ;)