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Masterclass in Particle Physics 2013

March 25, 2013
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More than 70 high school students and undergraduate students interested in natural sciences, information technology and various branches of engineering participated in a one-day masterclass in particle physics sponsored by Birzeit University’s Physics Department.

The March 5, 2013 masterclass included lectures, hands-on sessions and a virtual visit to the ATLAS control room in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It was coordinated by Wafaa Khater, the local contact person for International Masterclasses organized at TU Dresden within the framework of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) (see

“This event will become an annual event at Birzeit, in the hopes that it attracts more and more participants in the coming years,” said Dean of the Faculty of Science Wa’el Karain. A brief introduction to the physics department was given by its chairperson, Professor Edward Sader, who was one of the first faculty members at the department when it was established in 1974.
Visiting particle physicists Kate Shaw from the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and Muhammad Alhroob from the ATLAS research group at CERN gave two interesting lectures on the field of particle physics and the ATLAS experiment, followed by a talk on the search for the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider by BZU physics professor Sajida Hamayel.

The afternoon of the day was devoted to a hands-on session and virtual visit to the control room of the ATLAS experiment in Switzerland. Participating students worked out exercises under the supervision of Dr. Shaw and Dr. Alhroob to analyze events on the particle called Z-boson. The day ended with a virtual visit via video conference to the ATLAS team and a discussion session with the physicists there, who were happy to answer all the questions by the eager participants. A recorded video of the virtual visit can be viewed on the ATLAS webpage:

The masterclass was sponsored by Faculty of Science Dean Wa’el Karain.


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