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Particle Physics Masterclasses

Tour of RAL facilities

Masterclass students tour of RAL facilities
(Credit: STFC)

The 2020 series of Masterclasses at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory will take place on 10th - 13th March 2020. This will be the 23rd year we have run these events.

Further details can be found below about this and previous Masterclasses to give you a flavour of what happens on the day.

This year we welcomed 50 schools over the four days. This included both local and distant schools (with one group travelling from Newcastle):

Blessed George Napier, Bloxham School, Bristol Grammar School, Bryanston School, Chipping Norton School, d'Overbroeck's, High School for Girls, St Philip Howard, Wells Cathedral School, Reading Blue Coat School, The Fridary School, Blenheim High School, Chichester College, Didcot Girls School, Holcombe, Loughborough Grammar School, Mary Hare School, MPW Cambridge, New Hall School, Peter Symonds College, Reed's School, Silverstone UTC, St James Senior Girls School, Bradley Stoke Community School, Buford School, Elizabeth Woodville School, Frome College, Kendrick School, Lade Hawkins, Northampton High School, Pangbourne College, Park House School, Shooters Hill 6th form college. Springiest Academy, St Helen's (northwood), Tormead, Trinity, Ashlyns, Faringdon Community College, Heartburn College, Hazelwick School, Knights Templar, Newcastle Royal Grammar School, OXCAM Tutors, Pate's Grammar School, St. Helen and St. Katharine, St. Crispin's School, Stonar, The Forest and John Bentley School.

An example programme for the day is available here.

Risk assessment form for schools.

This is one of a set of Masterclasses organised by the High Energy Particle Physics Group of the Institute of Physics throughout the UK.

Key facts

These events are primarily intended for those students taking modules which include particle physics at 'A' or 'AS' level, but are also open to any physics student or teacher interested in studying or teaching the subject. The Masterclasses will consist of a mixture of talks given by researchers in the Particle Physics Department, hands-on practical sessions and visits to experimental facilities.


The very first Masterclass at RAL was held in 1998 when we entertained 114 students from ten different schools. Our popularity increased and in the year 2000 we attracted over 200 students and separate Masterclasses had to be organised over two days to cope with the numbers! This demand continued in 2001 with attendance having to be restricted to 245 students from 19 schools.  In 2002 we adopted a three day format and routinely entertained 500 students each year for the next ten years. In 2012, we went to a four day format and accommodated approximately 700 participants.

Lectures from the 2017 Masterclasses

Computer exercise used in the Masterclass

Computer exercise

Computer exercise
(Credit: STFC)

Details of some of the computer exercises and demonstrations can be found below:



Further information


For general information, please contact:

For bookings, please contact:

Lauren Mowberry
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445789
Fax: +44 (0)1235 446665


Dr. Julie Kirk
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445965
Fax: +44 (0)1235 446733

Last updated: 31 October 2019


Science and Technology Facilities Council
Switchboard: +44 (0)1793 442000