Higgs Hunters Project


The Large Hadron Collider is an engineering and scientific triumph with thousands of people working together to gather and analyse data with the aim of unravelling the story of our universe.

Through the Higgs Hunters project you can become part of the team. The University of Oxford worked with the Zooniverse to engage twenty thousand citizen scientists on the search for an unusual particle they’re calling a “Baby Higgs”. It is expected to be found in pairs and is formed when a Higgs particle decays. These Baby Higgs particles leave a particular signature in the data captured in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Through the Zooniverse project over 1 million classifications were made with citizen scientists flagging events that could potentially show these Baby Higgs particles.

The next step is to work through the classifications of data. The potential for finding new particles and new aspects of physics is very real.

The non-simulated data can be found on the IRIS (Institute of Research in Schools) website: http://www.researchinschools.org/higgs_hunters/home.html and the guide which can be downloaded from the documents section of the website: http://www.researchinschools.org/documents.html

IRIS Higgs Hunters Conference

We are very pleased to announce an opportunity for up to 20 students who analyse Higg Hunter data to visit the Physics Department at the University of Oxford between 25th - 26th June 2018, including an overnight stay and dinner at Merton College on the 25th June. (There is no charge for the food and accommodation, requests for assistance with travel costs will be considered based upon need).

The Programme

Day 1: 25th June 2018

  • Start 1100 (there is potential for overnight night before for long distance attendees)
  • Welcome Professor Alan Barr
  • Poster session in foyer of new Physics building with lunch
  • Round table with academics
  • Practical session
  • Careers in Physics
  • University applications
  • Tour & Dinner at Merton College

Day 2: 26th June 2018

  • Physics lecture
  • Climate Physics
  • Pracitical session
  • Bigger poster and lunch session in the foyer of the new building
  • Analysing academic papers
  • Closing and awards - 1500

How to Apply

There are just 20 spaces available for this event, and they will be allocated based upon a student’s poster submission of their work analysing the data we have available, and a teacher reference. (This is not about predicted grades but genuine interest in the subject). Guidance on preparing a poster and a template are attached at the top right of this webpage.

Students attending will be expected to present their work at the poster sessions as outlined above. Submissions need to be made by noon 30th April 2018. (No late entries will be accepted)

Entries should be sent to submissions@researchinschools.org.

All entries will be acknowledged. Submissions will be judged by a panel including Professor Alan Barr, Professor Becky Parker and other members of the university and IRIS teams. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible after the review, please make sure there is a contact number and email address included in the submission. IRIS and the University of Oxford reserve the right to print and publish any entries received as part of their promotion of the Institute and promotion of the event within the academic community.