"Discover the COSMOS" Summer School during the Great Discovery

Published: 09/07/2012

Last week in the Crete summer schools teachers and students discover the Higgs boson together with the scientists at CERN.

Last week at the Discover the COSMOS Summer School  organized By Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) in Panormo, Crete and in the Greek High School Summer School organized by Hellenic Physical Union (EEF) jointly with EA at the same place, 25 European teachers and 45 Greek students had the opportunity to use the ATLAS experiment interactive educational tool, HYPATIA, and hunt for the Higgs boson  announced by the high energy physics community.

On July the 4th a new particle which has properties similar to those of the elusive Higgs particle, predicted by the mechanism which gives mass to the particles, was announced by simultaneously by the two large CERN experiments, ATLAS and CMS after nearly twenty years of searches! The teachers and students had the chance to try to "recognize" such a particle from its decay to four leptons using educational tools which the consortium has built and put at their disposition few hours after the official announcement!

Professor Christina Kourkoumeli (Depart. of Physics, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens) project coordinator of Discover the COSMOS project and one of the main team members of the Greek CERN Team had made a statement during the Summer Course about this great discovery:

"CERN's announcement of the discovery of "a new" particle is the greatest moment in my scientific career for a number of reasons. I had had the information (under embargo) available for weeks now, since I am a member of the discovery group (with my group of the University of Athens, a member of the ATLAS experiment since 1996). But when the moment of the announcement came, I was very moved! My group has contributed to the experiment at all stages, initially constructing in Greece a part of the detector and then in the physics searches and in particular, in the hunt of Higgs decaying to four leptons. The announcement comes as a big reward but we are proceeding to more detailed studies. Already two PhD students are waiting to finish their thesis."

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