CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Colliding Particles - Episode 7: Data





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.


"Data" is the seventh and final film of the series ‘Colliding Particles." '"Data"' takes the Eurostar to Paris for the announcement of first results from the LHC. It's the culmination of over 20 years work and the first step on the road to many years of discoveries at the LHC.
Film Duration: 10 min 43 sec.
See film here:
Topics Covered in this Film:

  • Data-Jon and Adam are on their way to a conference in Paris. They hope to hear some of the first data from the LHC. Jon suggests that the Standard Model may soon need to be revised.
  • Conference - The ICHEP conference in Paris. Adam and Jon are reviewing the programme of talks.
  • Gavin explains that the rumour of exciting results from the Tevatron accelerator is probably unfounded. The LHC is taking over from the Tevatron because it can produce collisions with higher energies.
  • First results: ATLAS experiment - In a conference session, the first results from the ATLAS team at the LHC are reported.
  • Sarkozy - President Sarkozy of France addresses the conference, warning of the threats to science.
  • Conference reception - Scientists meet for a social occasion in the natural history museum. They talk about how they see science and why it is important to continue developing new scientific ideas.
  • Moving on - Gavin is moving from Paris to Geneva. He explains that particle accelerators with millions of billions more energy are needed to answer today’s big questions.
  • Final exam - Adam faces the examiners at the end of his PhD course. He discusses his uncertain future.
  • Science cuts - The UK government has announced reductions in the scientific research budget. At the demo, Jon explains that the UK is strong in science and that he doesn’t want to see that destroyed.

(See teacher's guide for this episode for exact timings of these topics within the video:
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: Mon, Feb 07, 2011 — 12:03
Updated date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 — 04:27

Learning Topics

Process of Discovery