CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Colliding Particles- Episode 1: Codename Eurostar





Mike Paterson


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To illustrate to students ages 15+ how science develops through discussion, collaboration and completion of works, and to illustrate the relationship between experiment and theory in science.


"Codename Eurostar" is the first film of the series‘Colliding Particles." Gavin, Jon and Adam have a cunning plan to find the Higgs Boson, an elusive particle which physicists have been trying to find for over 40 years. One of the main aims of the the LHC is to discover once and for all whether the Higgs actually exists or not, and ‘Eurostar’ might just hold the key to finding out…
Topics covered in this film:

  • Curiosity - Gavin talks about the fundamental curiosity that drives scientific inquiry.
  • Atoms - protons/neutrons/electrons- quarks-, what else?
  • Collaboration - Jon, Adam and Gavin describe the ‘Eurostar’ collaborative project.
  • The Standard Model - Jon and Adam explain the Standard Model - animation.
  • Gavin describes how we can picture the Higgs field and particle.
  • Roles - Adam explains the roles of Gavin (theorist), Jon (experimentalist), Adam (research student).
  • Hunting the Higgs - Jon and Gavin explain their role in the hunt for the Higgs.
  • Ideas and experiments -Animation of LHC; Jon describes the interplay between observation, experiment and theory in science; Jon explains why such a big experiment is needed.
  • The end of the story? - Adam, Jon and Gavin discuss what may come out of the LHC experiments.

(See teacher's guide for this episode for exact timings of these topics within the video:
See video here:
About the Series:
The full series follows just one of the teams of physicists involved in the research at the LHC.
The project documents their work at the frontiers of particle physics, exploring the human stories behind the research and investigating the workings of the scientific process itself. It is designed to support the ‘How Science Works’ element of key stage 4 of the English national curriculum. The films have been made to illustrate aspects of the way in which science develops. They show scientists discussing their work, how they collaborate and compete, and the relationship between experiment and theory in science.
Although the idea of the Standard Model of particle physics and the existence of the Higgs particle are unlikely to be part of the formal curriculum for most students, these films can still be used when you wish to discuss aspects of HSW and to stimulate interest in the process of scientific discovery. Because the scientists are describing an on-going process of discovery, the films have a natural ‘story’ thread running through them.

Post date: Thu, Apr 07, 2011 — 10:14
Updated date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 — 04:25

Learning Topics

Higgs Boson
Standard Model
Life as a Physicist
Process of Discovery