APPEAL-9: How to Build the Biggest and Most Complex Discovery Machines

30 Jun 2018 - 9:00am to 4:30pm
Denys Wilkinson Building, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
A-level physics teachers

APPEAL 9 – Year of Engineering 2018

How to Build the Biggest and Most Complex Discovery Machines

With the designation of 2018 as the Year of Engineering, now is a great time to discuss with A-level pupils the connections between engineering, particle physics and particle accelerators.

Particle accelerators present engineers with a variety of challenges at the forefront of technology. Engineers build and test the equipment and systems required by accelerators. Building a particle accelerator, for example, can require civil engineering: digging tunnels and installing large infrastructure projects. Other engineers design and build accelerator components: radiofrequency cavities must be crafted to just the right shape and size to boost particles along accelerators; thousands of large custom-built electromagnets focus particle beams and guide them around bends in circular accelerators; and the world’s largest cryogenic system cools magnets on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to close to absolute zero, so that the wires supplying their electricity can work in a superconducting state without losing energy to resistance.

The University of Oxford is organising in collaboration with CERN a one-day school to give A-level teachers an opportunity to learn about the phenomena and challenges which connect engineering, particle physics and particle accelerators. This school is designed for physics teachers who are not necessarily physics specialists. Preference will be given to teachers coming from schools which usually send very few pupils to University.

Teachers will have the opportunity to learn more about particle accelerators, connections between engineering and particle accelerators, and phenomena being studied with particle accelerators – such as the Higgs boson(s) and the search for dark matter. The school will address questions such as "What is the origin of the Universe and of matter?", "How do the LHC and other particle accelerators work?", "What are some of the engineering challenges for particle accelerators?" and "What are the applications of particle accelerators in our daily lives?"

This professional development event aims to:

  • provide ideas and experience relating to particle physics, accelerator physics and related areas of science and technology;
  • increase confidence in delivering particle physics and accelerator science related curriculum;
  • consolidate and extend teachers' knowledge and expertise related to particle physics and accelerator science;
  • deliver up-to-date ‘next steps’ for study and careers related to particle physics and accelerator science;
  • provide opportunity to network with other teachers, researchers and Oxford admissions tutors.

Past APPEAL events were very successful and we are looking forward to a very interesting and thought-provoking event this year as well.

Teacher feedback from previous events:
"Many thanks again folks for yet another awesome CPD event"
"Thanks for organising what is one of the best CPD days available!"

The timetable for the event will be presented here:


To take part in this school please register before the Tue, 19 June 2018.

Please register your interest here.

For more information contact: 

There are no registration fees for the teachers to participate in the event. The organisers are grateful for the support received from the following organisations.