What I learnt: A Year 12 student’s account of life in our Department of Physics

A blog post by Daniel Tootil, a year 12 pupil at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen.

Daniel spent a week,  from Monday 11 to Friday 15 June, shadowing members of Royal Holloway’s Centre for Particle Physics group as they conducted their research, to find out whether he would enjoy pursuing his interest in physics research.

Daniel Tootil, a year 12 pupil at Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen

Daniel Tootil, a year 12 pupil at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen

What a week! From meeting scientists involved on the LHC experiment, ATLAS – whether trying to locate the elusive Higgs Boson or working with the vital trigger software – to partaking in particle physics experiments myself in the lab, the week proved incredibly interesting not to mention enjoyable. While some of the talk proved beyond my understanding, the experience gained by attending meetings and video/telephone conferences, has given me a valuable insight into the work I might do if I were a research scientist.

Did you know that there is more to a proton than just 3 quarks? Or that liquid argon can be used to find evidence of dark matter? Chances are you did, especially if, like me, you were able to do work experience with the physics department at Royal Holloway, University of London.

As a Year 12 pupil I will hopefully soon make the transition to university and subsequently further on to pursue my career interests. I wanted to find out whether I would enjoy pursuing my interest in physics research.

Not only did I get to experience the work of a researcher, but I was also lucky enough to experience university life. Staying on campus, doing university level experiments and receiving mini lectures on a variety of particle physics topics: they will all be useful in preparing me for the future.

I am glad that the opportunity to come to Royal Holloway, University of London was proffered to me.

For more information on studying science at Royal Holloway, please visit www.rhul.ac.uk/discoverscience 

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About rhulscience

The Faculty of Science at Royal Holloway, University of London
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