Professor William Murray visits Vandyke

Published on 11 July 2016

Professor William Murray visits Vandyke

Last month, Vandyke was visited by Professor William Murray, a Professor of Physics at the University of Warwick.  He was also Deputy Head of Physics at the ATLAS experiment on the large Hadron Collider.

Year 12 and 13 Applied Science and Physics students were given a talk about Prof. Murray’s main area of interest: particle physics.  

 The lecture was thoroughly informative and interesting, with the Professor explaining how particle accelerators such as the famous Large Hadron Collider operate. It also included an explanation of the Higgs boson: a particle first detected in 2012. Sometimes referred to as ‘the God particle’, the Higgs boson is essentially the reason things have mass. Its discovery is regarded as one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time, and the students were lucky to have it described by someone who was working at the CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) when it was confirmed.

Prof. Murray carried out a few demonstrations to illustrate the behaviour of particles, and also brought in a Cloud Chamber: a device which allows radiation left over from the birth of the Universe to be seen.  Some of the students who attended have applied, or are considering applying to study physics at Warwick, so this experience was particularly useful for them as it gave them an insight into the course from a potential lecturer.

Harvey Kemp

Year 13 Student