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Painting MICE

MICE accelerator facility hall

The MICE accelerator facility hall
(Credit: STFC)

Experiments at particle accelerators are helping us to answer the Big Questions – the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012 was a huge step in helping us to understand the way our world works. There are still more questions than we have answers, though – for instance: where has all the antimatter gone? Our theories tell us that in the early Universe matter and antimatter should have been created in equal amounts, but today it seems that the Universe is mainly matter.

To answer these questions we need to create new experiments, and that’s where MICE comes in. MICE – the Muon Ionization and Cooling Experiment – is a project at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory that’s being built to try and help to answer these big questions.

MICE logo

The MICE Collaboration
(Credit: MICE)

We’d like to invite teams of up to five students in Years 5 - 13 to be a part of MICE and design a “mural” for the large shielding wall in the MICE experimental hall – the mural should convey the excitement of MICE’s work, but the format of the mural – a drawing, a collage, explanations etc – is up to the participants. Entries should be submitted to visitral by 23:59 on Wednesday 15 June. Key Stage 4/5 finalists will be invited to London to attend the public lecture at the Neutrino 2016 conference on 6 July 2016, given by Brian Cox (expenses will be covered).  Younger finalists will be invited to RAL for a special celebration at a mutually agreed date.

To help you with your murals, there is information about the exciting work MICE is doing online and we can also arrange talks from MICE scientists and engineers at your school as well as (technology permitting) virtual tours of MICE. The winning mural will be installed in the MICE Hall in autumn 2016 – and the winning team will of course be invited to see their work in place. To arrange a talk please email visitral.

There are live webcams from the MICE Hall, which can be found here, to give you an idea of various parts of the hall. As people from around the world work on MICE, they use these webcams to keep an eye on what’s going on in the experiment!

Competition details

  • Students are asked to design a large-scale “mural” that conveys the excitement of the MICE project – whether that is showing the big physics questions MICE is designed to help answer or the engineering challenges of MICE.
  • The shielding wall can be seen in these photographs and diagram. The dimensions are available in this PDF.

Shielding wall - MICE hall

The shielding wall in the MICE hall
(Credit: STFC)

Shielding wall - MICE hall

The shielding wall in the MICE hall
(Credit: STFC)


Shielding wall diagram

Diagram of the shielding wall in the MICE hall
(Credit: STFC)

  • The competition is open to teams of up to five students in Years 5 - 13.
  • Entries should be sent to visitral in pdf or jpg format – wetransfer / dropbox / etc links will be accepted, but please send an additional email to let us know to expect the link, or the email with the entry may get lost in our spam filter.
  • Deadline for entries is 23:59 on Wednesday 15 June 2016.
  • The Key Stage 4/5 finalists’ trip to London will take place on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July 2016. Younger finalists and winners’ trip to RAL will be arranged for a mutually convenient date.
  • Competition details can also be found in these slides.
  • You can find out more about MICE online.

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