BEAMLINE FOR SCHOOLS: STUDENTI DI FERMO CAMPIONI DEL MONDO
Un gruppo di ragazzi del Liceo Scientifico Statale “T.C. Onesti” di Fermo (Marche) ha vinto l’edizione del 2017 della competizione internazionale del CERN, “Beamline for schools” (BL4S), una linea di fascio per le scuole. Lo ha annunciato oggi il CERN. Assieme ai ragazzi di Fermo è risultata vincitrice anche una squadra canadese. I ragazzi potranno eseguire il loro esperimento nel prestigioso centro di ricerca internazionale, che si trova vicino a Ginevra, il prossimo settembre.
La squadra “TCO-ASA” del liceo di Fermo è risultata vincitrice tra 180 squadre di partecipanti provenienti da 43 Paesi del mondo. “Come scuola avevamo partecipato già l’anno scorso con un esperimento analogo, arrivando in semifinale”, commenta Maria Rita Felici, la professoressa che ha seguito i ragazzi nella partecipazione a questa competizione. “A settembre 2016 i Laboratori di Frascati (LNF) dell’Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) avevano invitato i ragazzi della squadra del precedente anno a realizzare l’esperimento su una linea di fascio dei LNF (nella foto, i ragazzi in piedi). Da questa esperienza, con la nuova squadra (i ragazzi seduti nella foto), abbiamo deciso di migliorare l’esperimento e questo ci ha portato alla vittoria!”.
La “Beamline for Schools” è una selezione internazionale che ogni anno offre agli istituti superiori di tutto il mondo la possibilità di realizzare un vero e proprio esperimento scientifico al CERN di Ginevra. Alla BL4S sono ammesse squadre di un massimo di 30 studenti, che abbiano compiuto 16 anni di età e siano coordinate da almeno un docente. Il CERN, per aiutare insegnanti e studenti, introduce i concetti di base relativi alla fisica delle particelle attraverso dei video pubblicati online e sui social network. Per concorrere i candidati devono inviare una lettera motivazionale e un video, in cui spiegano perché vogliono andare al CERN, che cosa sperano di ricavare da quest’esperienza e l’idea iniziale di come utilizzerebbero il fascio di particelle per il loro esperimento. Gli esperti del CERN valutano le proposte tenendo conto della creatività, della motivazione, della fattibilità e sulla base del metodo scientifico. Una selezione finale viene presentata poi al comitato scientifico del CERN responsabile delle linee di fascio, che sceglie due squadre che possano svolgere i loro esperimenti assieme.
La squadra TCO-ASA di Fermo è composta da 8 studenti (6 maschi e 2 femmine). Il loro esperimento consiste nell’utilizzo di un rivelatore Cherenkov della scuola (costruito anche grazie al “rivelatore fai da te” ArduSipm, ideato da un ricercatore dell’INFN, vd. qui), che è in grado di osservare le particelle elementari che viaggiano più veloci della luce nell’aria. La loro idea consiste nel testare questo rivelatore, interamente costruito con materiali low-cost facilmente reperibili, sulla linea di fascio del CERN.
“Sono davvero entusiasta della nostra vittoria! Fermo è una piccola città e non ho mai avuto l’opportunità di essere in un laboratorio di fisica con scienziati che si adoperano ogni giorno per scoprire qualcosa di nuovo. Penso che questa esperienza mi porterà un po’ più vicino alla decisione per le mie scelte del futuro”, ha affermato la studentessa Roberta Barbieri della squadra “TCO-ASA”.
Due altre squadre italiane sono arrivate in semifinale e riceveranno come premio un rivelatore di raggi cosmici (Cosmic-Pi) per la loro scuola. Si tratta della squadra “P.R.O.ME.THE.U.S” dell’I.I.S. “Nicola Pellati” di Nizza Monferrato (in provincia di Asti) e la squadra “THE BIG BANG TEAM” dell’IIS “GUGLIELMO MARCONI” di Tortona (in provincia di Alessandria).
Per maggiori informazioni:
Informazioni sulla competizione:
Il video di presentazione inviato al CERN del liceo di Fermo:
L’annuncio della vittoria del liceo di Fermo:
Two new teams of high-school physicists selected to run experiments at CERN
13 Jun 2017
The ” Charging Cavaliers” (on the left) and “TCO-ASA” (on the right).
Geneva, 13 June 2017. CERN1 today announced the winners of its 2017 Beamline for Schools competition. “Charging Cavaliers” from Canada and “TCO-ASA” from Italy were selected from a total of 180 teams from 43 countries around the world, adding up to about 1500 high-school students. The winners have been selected to come to CERN in September to carry out their own experiments using a CERN accelerator beam.
With the Beamline for Schools competition, high-school students are enabled to run an experiment on a fully-equipped CERN beamline, in the same way that researchers do at the Large Hadron Collider and other CERN facilities. Students had to submit a written proposal and video explaining why they wanted to come to CERN, what they hoped to take away from the experience and initial thoughts of how they would use the particle beam for their experiment. Taking into consideration creativity, motivation, feasibility and scientific method, CERN experts evaluated the proposals. A final selection was presented to the CERN scientific committee responsible for assigning beam time to experiments, who chose two winning teams to carry out their experiments together at CERN.
“The quality and creativity of the proposals is inspiring. It shows the remarkable talent and commitment of the new generation of potential scientists and engineers. I congratulate all who have taken part this year; they can all be proud of their achievements. We very much look forward to welcoming the two winning teams and seeing the outcome of their experiments,” said CERN Director for International Relations, Charlotte Warakaulle.
“Charging Cavaliers” are thirteen students (6 boys and 7 girls) from the “École secondaire catholique Père-René-de-Galinée” in Cambridge, Canada. Their project is the search for elementary particles with a fractional charge, by observing their light emission in the same type of liquid scintillator as that used in the SNO+ experiment at SNOLAB. With this proposal, they are questioning the Standard Model of particle physics and trying to get a glimpse at a yet unexplored territory.
“I still can’t believe what happened. I feel incredibly privileged to be given this opportunity. It’s a once a lifetime opportunity It opens so many doors to a knowledge otherwise inaccessible to me. It represents the hard work our team has done. There’s just no words to describe it. Of course, I’m looking forward to putting our theory into practice in the hope of discovering fractionally charged particles, but most of all to expanding my knowledge of physics.” said Denisa Logojan from the Charging Cavaliers.
“TCO-ASA” is a team from the “Liceo Scientifico Statale “T.C. Onesti”” in Fermo, Italy, and comprises 8 students (6 boys and 2 girls). They have taken the initiative to build a Cherenkov detector at their school. This detector has the potential of observing the effects of elementary particles moving faster than light does in the surrounding medium. Their plan is to test this detector, which is entirely made from low-cost and easily available materials, in the beam line at CERN.
“I’m really excited about our win, because I’ve never had an experience like this. Fermo is a small city and I’ve never had the opportunity to be in a physics laboratory with scientists that study every day to discover something new. I think that this experience will bring me a bit closer to my choices for my future” said Roberta Barbieri from TCO-ASA team.
The first Beamline for Schools competition was launched three years ago on the occasion of CERN’s 60th anniversary. To date, winners from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, South Africa Poland and the United Kingdom have performed their experiments at CERN. This year, short-listed teams2 each receive a Cosmic-Pi detector for their school that will allow them to detect cosmic-ray particles coming from outer space.
“After four editions, the Beamline for Schools competition has well established itself as an important outreach and education activity of CERN. This competition has the power to inspire thousands of young and curious minds to think about the role of science and technology in our society. Many of the proposals that we have received this year would have merited an invitation to CERN.”, said Markus Joos, Beamline for School project leader.
Beamline for Schools is an education and outreach project supported by the CERN & Society Foundation, funded by individuals, foundations and companies.
The project was funded in 2017 in part by the Arconic Foundation; additional contributions were received by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, as well as from National Instruments. CERN would like to thank all the supporters for their generous contributions that have made the 2017 competition possible.
Beamline for schools 2018 is confirmed: you can already find information here.
Team “TCO-ASA”: Extract from their proposal “In BL4S 2016 the proposal of our school received the status of highly commended, which really intrigued us. The basic idea is to achieve an authentic detector by using some simple instruments. We wanted to study the Cherenkov’s effect that is radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium. […]This year we made a new box with new sensors and we started the tests on the Cherenkov’s effect from the beginning. Our research gave us satisfying results with which we hope to win the BL4S 2017 competition. […]”
Watch their video (link is external)
Team “Charging Cavaliers”: Extract from their proposal “Generally, the idea that electric charge exists in integer multiples of electron charges is well supported by the scientific community. Be that as it may, the Standard Model, which includes three generations of quarks and leptons, does not establish charge quantization. To be able to enforce charge quantization, physics beyond the limits of the Standard Model is imperative. […] Our experiment will search for fractionally charged particles using proton interactions at the Proton Synchrotron with the goal of identifying fractionally charged particles by observing their light emission in a liquid scintillator, comparatively to a conventionally charged particle. […] It is our duty to encourage the pursuit of knowledge, and beginning with this privileged occasion would only advocate for this cause. We must think forward, and this would be our first big step toward doing so.”
Watch their video (link is external)
- CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus and Serbia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.
- A.O.C group from Israel Absolute Uncertainty from the United Kingdom Beamcats from the Philippines Bojos per la Física 2017 from Spain Brazinga from Brazil Cherenkov Radiation Busters from Poland Club de Física Enrico Fermi from Spain CURIEosity Team from Greece Dawson Technicolor from Canada Deep Impact from Chile DITI – Deep In The Ice from Poland G-Y-V-V Amavet 964 from Slovakia Hildebrandianer from Germany LEAM TEAM – Learning About Materials Team from Timor-Leste Newton’s apples from Spain Pigeon Detectors from the United Kingdom P.R.O.ME.THE.U.S from Italy Q=MC² from the United Kingdom Salty Brits from the United Kingdom Sparticles Particles 2.0 from the United States Surfing the Wave Function from the United States Team Hephaestus from India Team Muonicity from India Terrella from New Zealand THE BIG BANG TEAM from Italy United World Astronauts from the Netherlands Vacuum Dunes from Spain Y=GC2 from the United Kingdom