Particle Physics : you will study this if you choose physics in the sixth form.

Particle physics is the study of the building blocks of matter and the forces acting among them. It tries to find out the fundamental laws that control the make-up of matter in the universe.



The accelerator is the basic tool of particle physics. It allows us to make particles hit each other at very high speeds.

A linear accelerator accelerates particles in a straight line: the biggest linear machine SLAC, in Stanford, California, is two miles long. Click on this link to see an animation of SLAC.

Circular machines are more common like the Fermilab Tevatron in Illinois USA, or the new European LHC at CERN in Switzerland.



LEP simulator


Try the accelerator simulator at the foot of the Sixth Form Page (this is based on the old LEP accelerator now dismantled, but the new LHC occupies the same tunnel and principle of operation is much the same).