Proton Football at the IOP Ireland stand at BTYS

9 January 2014

IOP Ireland kicks off its 50th anniversary celebrations with a game of Proton Football at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

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The Interactive LHC Tunnel from CERN Media Labs uses Kinect body sensors and a high definition projection surface to explain how particles are accelerated and what happens when two protons collide. The harder you kick, the more energy in the collision and the more particles are produced.

IOP Ireland and BT Young Scientist share a 50th birthday this year. Interestingly a common link between the two is Dr Tony Scott, co - founder of the Young Scientist event. Dr Peter van der Burgt, current chair of IOP Ireland, commented that Tony, who is a former chairperson of IOP Ireland and a former Vice-President of the IOP, “has given boundless energy and enthusiasm to physics outreach over many decades.”

This year’s IOPI exhibit aims to bridge the gap between complex scientific knowledge and wide public understanding. Particle physics is a strong driver of interest in science and the work of CERN and the recent discovery of the Higgs particle has generated unprecedented media coverage of physics. However, concepts like “the influence of Higgs Field on matter” and “particle acceleration and collision” can lead to explanations which are hard to understand and even harder to retain. This runs the risk of creating a barrier between practicing scientists and the general public. By immersing the public in a fully interactive gaming experience, the Interactive LHC Tunnel bridges the gaps between science education, interactive media and information visualization, and creates an entertaining and memorable tool for learning.

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Throughout 2014, IOP Ireland will be hosting and promoting events to celebrate its 50th anniversary and Irish physics in its widest context.

Further Information:

Dr Sheila Gilheany
Policy Adviser
Institute of Physics in Ireland
c/o School of Physics
Dublin 4

M +353 86 2600903 E

The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of over 50,000 of which over 2000 are part of the Institute of Physics in Ireland. It is a leading communicator of physics-related science to all audiences, from specialists through to government and the general public. Its publishing company, IOP Publishing, is a world leader in scientific publishing and the electronic dissemination of physics.