Physics teachers' group - Science Outreach - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Physics Teachers' Group

picture of coloursPhysics teachers' meetings are an excellent way for local physics teachers to get together on a regular basis to hear about what's going on in the physics teaching world, and keep up to date with research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

If you would like to come to the next meeting please email or call 364 2178.

Particle Physics Unravelled

This half-day workshop for Physics teachers was held on Wednesday 18th July.

Resources from the day are listed below

Dr David Krofcheck spoke about the history of particle physics (PowerPoint 13.93MB).

Professor Emmanuel Tsesmelis spoke about accelerators (PowerPoint 19.18MB).

Dr Anthony Butler then talked about the use of Medipix particle detectors in medical imaging (Powerpoint 2.0MB).

The talks were all filmed and are available at this here.

You may also like to use the "See-through Body" context on the Science Learning Hub, which describes some of the work on the Medipix detectors, and the "Just Elemental" context featuring Dr David Krofcheck's work at CERN.


The University of Canterbury organised in collaboration with the University of Auckland and CERN a free half-day school to give high-school teachers an opportunity to learn about the phenomena and scientific challenges which connect astrophysics, particle physics and the physics of particle accelerators. This school is designed for physics teachers who are not necessarily physics specialists.

Participating teachers had the opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in particle physics, connections between astrophysics and particle physics, and phenomena being studied with particle accelerators. The school addressed questions such as "What is the origin of the Universe and of matter?"  "Does the Higgs boson exist?" "How do the LHC or other particle accelerators work?" "How are the LHC experiments connected to astrophysics?" and "What are the applications of particle detectors and accelerators in our daily lives?"
With the CMS experiment international MasterClass, the teachers also went on a journey to study the smallest building blocks of matter! Data samples from the CMS experiment at CERN's LHC have been made available. Teachers made their own data analysis, such as the measurement of the J/Ψ and W/Z properties. They explored...and did some 21st century particle physics!


Welcome and Introduction

The Story of Particle Physics and LHC Physics (David Krofcheck, University of Auckland)

Introduction to Accelerator Science and Applications (Emmanuel Tsesmelis, CERN and University of Oxford, Visiting Erskine Fellow)

Technology Transfer to Life Sciences (Anthony Butler, Christchurch Hospital, University of Otago)

The CMS Experiment International MasterClass

Registration is essential for this free workshop and places are limited – names and contact details should be sent to by Friday 13 July – the last day of the school holidays.

If you intend to assess the NCEA Physics 3.5 standard for next year it could be particularly useful as
examples of phenomena, concepts, or principles include:

    • the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom: the photon; the quantisation of energy; discrete atomic energy levels; electron transition between energy levels; ionisation; atomic line spectra, the electron volt
    • the photoelectric effect
    • wave / particle duality
    • qualitative description of the effects of the strong interaction and Coulombic repulsion, binding energy and mass deficit; conservation of mass-energy for nuclear reactions
    • qualitative treatment of special and general relativity
    • qualitative treatment of quarks and leptons.
  • Science Outreach
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Phone: +64 3 364 2178
    Mobile: +64 27 450 3903
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