Big Bang Theories

Particle Physicist, Dr Melissa Uchida, captivated pupils with her well attended lecture, entitled “Liquid Hydrogen, 50,000 tonnes of water and a Nuclear…

Particle Physicist, Dr Melissa Uchida, captivated pupils with her well attended lecture, entitled “Liquid Hydrogen, 50,000 physicstonnes of water and a Nuclear reactor”. Dr Uchida, of Imperial College, London (ICL), discussed the discipline’s journey to provide us with a complete understanding of the universe, as well as her own experience in the hunt for answers to humanity’s greatest questions.

The talk mainly focused on her work in Japan on the T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) experiment, which studies the second-lightest particle in existence: neutrinos. These elusive particles, she explained, are very difficult to detect and pass uninterrupted through nearly everything – in fact 3 billion pass through the area of your fingernail every second. The neutrinos are fired underground over a distance of 295km from the east to west coast of Japan towards the Super-Kamiokande detector: 50,000 tonnes of ultra-pure water surrounded by over 11,000 photomultiplier tubes. These tubes detect and identify different types of neutrino and the changes they undergo in transit, potentially shedding light on the processes at the start of the Big Bang.

Dr Uchida also discussed her research into matter and antimatter in a nuclear reactor at ILL, Grenoble and her current research on the Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment (MICE) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford, which would produce a beam of muons and help us design a muon accelerator – the ‘holy grail’ of particle physics.

 

Back to all news

Related News

Cranleigh School hosts 1,000 young triathletes
21 May 2024 Charity
Cranleigh School hosts 1,000 young triathletes
Cranleigh Prep and Senior pupils perform at Cranleigh Arts Centre
20 May 2024 Music
Cranleigh Prep and Senior pupils perform at Cranleigh Arts Centre
Cranleigh become runners up at the Girls Golf Invitation Annual tournament.
14 May 2024 Golf
Cranleigh become runners up at the Girls Golf Invitation Annual tournament.