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Sussex lecturer takes High Energy Physics to Afghanistan

Team PWF Afghanistan: with Encieh Erfani, Jawad Ahmadi, Qais Kazimi, Sajad Nazari, Baktash Aminii, Kate Shaw (2nd to right) and Wakil Sarfaraz (far right)

ICTP PWF HEP workshop at Kabul University, Afghanistan

Particle physicist Dr Kate Shaw, a recently appointed Lecturer in Experimental Physics, visited Kabul in Afghanistan to organise an International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Physics Without Frontiers High Energy Physics (HEP) workshop at Kabul University. She was accompanied by special guest Afghan Wakil Sarfaraz, a Sussex mathematics PhD student.

The two-day HEP workshop was the first big physics event in Afghanistan and was attended by over 250 students who were given lectures on particle physics and cosmology. Presenters were Kate Shaw from Sussex and Encieh Erfani from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS).

The workshop was organised by Baktash Armini, PWF Afghanistan Coordinator and Lecturer, Jawad Ahmadi and Sajad Nazari from Kabul University, and Qais Kazimi, PWF school coordinator General Directorate of Science Centre and Educational Technology. The UNESCO Kabul field office facilitated the mission. The International Centre for Theoretical Physics is a physics research institute with a duel mission for high-level research and to foster physics in developing countries. 

Kate Shaw - who is an experimental particle physicist at Sussex and workis on the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider - founded the ICTP Physics without Frontiers programme in 2012. The aim of the programme is to inspire, train and motivate physics and mathematics university students with some focus on science and technology lagging countries, to help build the next generation of scientists. Each project is unique, developed with the country's specific needs in mind. Kate has worked in countries including Nepal, Palestine, Algeria, Vietnam, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Venezula, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay and South Africa.

Kate said: “The workshop was a great success, the students were very engaging asking many questions, and picking up complex ideas very quickly! They have so much potential. The conflict unfortunately is holding them back, and causing isolation.

"We at ICTP intend to support the growth of physics education and research throughout the country. It was a great pleasure to be welcomed to Kabul University, and work with some amazing scientists and students.“

Baktash Armini said: “We don’t have high energy physicists yet. We lost our middle generation because of conflict, and the older scientists are retiring. The younger scientists are hungry for this type of workshop.”

For further details visit ICTP Physics without Frontiers at: 

By: Justine Charles
Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019