Experimental Particle Physics Research Group


7th High School Conference on Cosmic Rays takes place at Sussex

HiSPARC Conference attendees

The 7th conference of the annual HiSPARC Conference series took place at the University of Sussex on 1 July 2019. Schools from London, Birmingham, Tonbridge, Newhaven and Brighton & Hove, as well as representatives from the University of Sussex, the University of Birmingham and the UK Institute of Physics (IoP), met for a day at Sussex to share results from the data analyses of the HiSPARC detectors. The analyses were produced by students from participating schools, with support from their science teachers and researchers at collaborating Universities.

HiSPARC, a project in which secondary schools and academic institutions join forces and form a network to measure cosmic rays with extremely high energy, allows high school students to participate actively in real particle physics research and experience what it means to work in collaboration with other scientists from all over the world. Participating schools are invited annually to the conference.

Dr Salvatore is the HiSPARC contact at the University of Sussex and was one of the leading Sussex academics helping students at Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove to build and install their detector. He organised this year’s conference together with Dr Kate Shaw, Lecturer in Experimental Physics at Sussex, who led the Sussex team installing a HiSPARC detector at the University of Namibia, the first of such detectors in the southern hemisphere

He said: “It is important to communicate to the school kids our passion for physics and for research. This project will give hands-on experience to the students of the kind of problems we face every day in the University research environment”.

The students presented really high quality work and there was some lively discussion about the results. 

One student commented: “We had an amazing day! It was the first time I had been to a physics event like this. We showed and compared our results from our research using the real data we collected ourselves. And it was fun to meet all the other students who had been working in other parts of the country".


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By: Justine Charles
Last updated: Tuesday, 2 July 2019

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