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Students work with Physicists to create Interactive Museum of Particle Physics in Minecraft!

Posted on: 12/09/2017

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games ever developed, with over 100 million users creating, sharing and exploring virtual worlds. ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), based at CERN in Geneva. It investigates a wide range of physics, from the search for the Higgs boson to extra dimensions and particles that could make up dark matter.

Now, professional physicists are working with DGS students and others to create the 'ATLAScraft' world, an interactive museum of particle physics in Minecraft, supported by the Institute for Research in Schools.

Taking advantage of the creative nature of Minecraft, the students and scientists are building the separate components of the ATLAS detector, the LHC accelerator tunnels and the buildings of the CERN research facility. There will also be constructions that simulate particle collisions and interactions, as well as miniature games within the game. Later this year ATLAScraft will be available freely for gamers to download, providing an entertaining way to learn about the motivation, research and technology of the ATLAS experiment.

The project is being led by Professor Cigdem Issever from the University of Oxford with support from Mark Pickering (Oxford) and Steve Worm (University of Birmingham). Three Oxfordshire schools are involved: Abingdon School, Fitzharrys School and Didcot Girls’ School. We are delighted that DGS students are helping to create a resource which will enable people worldwide to explore the amazing world of particle physics.


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