In2science is a summer programme for year 12 students to gain insight into STEM careers and research. There is a wider participation element, as students are selected based on criteria indicating a disadvantaged background, and are all from non-fee paying and non-selective state-maintained schools. After applying to the scheme in April, Dr Wing Ying Chow found out in June that she had been matched, and hosted four students for a week in August. The students came from schools in north Coventry and the outskirts of Birmingham. They have all faced various levels of disruption due to COVID and this is their first work experience.
Solid-state NMR was a completely new technique to all of the students. That didn’t stop them from getting some hands-on experience: they packed a rotor and ran some experiments on the national high-field GHz spectrometer. During the placement, the students started to make connections between the A-levels they are studying, whether maths, chemistry, biology, or physics, with what is going on in the lab and in the magnet.
Ying received plenty of help and support in hosting, especially for tours and lab visits. As a new Assistant Professor without a group of her own, she found it was a great way to get to know more of the department and the university, “It was not only gratifying to see the students becoming more confident and outspoken over the week, but I also learned a lot from finding new ways to explain scientific concepts at Y12 level.”
After a successful week at the National Astronomy Meeting hosting over 800 astronomers and more than a thousand members of the public, we speak to some of our Local Organising Committee (LOC) who reflect on the past week.
The 2022 Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) will be hosted by the University of Warwick's Physics Department from Monday 11th July to Friday 15th July. Alongside the incredible science programme planned for attendees, the team have also organised an extensive public engagement programme on campus which is mostly free and completely open to the public.
Physics staff led by Oksana Trushkevych present "Resonate: a string, a concert, a hall, a universe" for the on-campus Resonate festival
In outreach & engagement news, a team of Physics staff led by Oksana Trushkevych (including Gavin Bell, Rachel Edwards, Tim Cunningham and Sue Burrows) presented “Resonate: a string, a concert hall, a universe” for the on-campus Resonate festival, the culmination of the University's celebrations for Coventry City of Culture.
The word resonate was on everyone’s lips, but people did not really talk about resonance in the physics sense of the word (there are some pretty iffy technical definitions even in the most reputable online dictionaries!). So the team set out to correct this and prepared an interactive lecture-performance, drawing on their current research as well as their teaching on The Science of Music module for IATL. PhD students from the Ultrasound group helped to move equipment and instruments, such as theremin and laser harp, to the Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre, and Gentian Mouron-Adams (a Physics undergraduate) demonstrated the Rubens tube. We talked about bridges, earthquakes, musical instruments, concert halls, MRI, seeing resonance, seeing with resonance, using resonance to hear... Activities included “singing” with balloons, “feeling” a piece of original music by Gavin through balloons and a “decipher the message” challenge relying on the natural reverberation of our teaching labs. We celebrated Delia Derbyshire, the electronic music pioneer from Coventry, who created the original Dr Who theme. We also talked about stars singing (actual stars, not celebs, and why we can’t hear them) and the universe being a set of resonances (well, if you are a string theorist). The event was aimed at children 8+ and received very positive feedback from attendees, young and grown up, who all made a lot of noise during and after the show.
Dr John Marshall and Dr John Back are working as part of the AIDAinnova programme to further the development of the Pandora pattern-recognition software. They are developing algorithms to interpret highly-complex images of neutrino interactions in the detectors that will be deployed for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, DUNE. Their software uses a careful blend of sophisticated clustering algorithms and machine-learning approaches.
The Pandora software aims to provide an automated approach to reconstruct what happened in neutrino interactions, and so help unlock the mysteries of neutrinos. One of the defining features of DUNE will be its cutting-edge detectors, and the role of pattern recognition and machine learning is becoming more important to interpret the detector outputs. Under the AIDAinnova programme, Dr Marshall and Dr Back are adapting the Pandora software specifically for use at the DUNE Near Detector.
Dr Marshall says “Through AIDAinnova, we’re collaborating with other teams across Europe: to develop software for future detectors, and to help include the Pandora software in a reusable “turnkey” software stack, designed for easy use at future particle physics experiments.”
AIDAinnova is co-ordinated through CERN. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab is the host laboratory for DUNE, in partnership with funding agencies and more than 1,000 scientists from all over the globe.
Find out more about AIDAinnova project by watching The AIDAinnova project video.
25 April 2022.
Professor Tom Hase (Magnetic X-ray Scattering group), Co-Director of XMaS alongside Co-Director Dr Didier Wermeille (University of Liverpool) has developed materials aimed at secondary schools to learn about 'The power of X-rays in Material Science' at the European Synchrotron.