Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division hosted an ATLAS Masterclass on April 22, 2023, for Bay Area high school students (juniors and seniors) interested in computer software and data analysis in high energy physics experiments.

The program included introductory lessons from physicists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley as well as hands-on computational analysis of real data from the ATLAS Experiment, which is part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. (Physics Division Postdoctoral Researcher Angira Rastogi presents a tutorial on data analysis. Photo left, credit: Maria Mironova, LBNL). The seventeen students who attended also toured the ATLAS laboratories in Building 50 (including the ATLAS ITk Pixel and Strips HL-LHC upgrade projects) and participated in a graduate Q&A panel about academic career paths and other aspects of university life.

Organized by Physics Division postdoctoral researchers Miha Muškinja, Angira Rastogi, Elliot Reynolds, and Louis-Guillaume Gagnon; the event was presented as part of an international series of particle physics masterclasses sponsored by QuarkNet. Many other Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley students and researchers helped with preparing the data analysis presentations and the graduate student panel, and the organizers extend special thanks to the event facilitators.

According to Muškinja, “We were truly amazed by the depth of the questions that the high school students asked. It was inspiring to see their passion for physics and their curiosity about some of the most fundamental questions in the universe.”