Inside the atom

Particle physics is the study of the fundamental ingredients of matter and the forces that affect them.

Particle Physics uses the biggest experiments in the world to understand the smallest building blocks of the Universe and to recreate conditions less than one billionth of a second after the Big Bang. STFC funds UK physicists collaborating in particle physics research all over the world, including our own Particle Physics Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and the LHC at CERN. Components of the two LHC experiments, ATLAS and CMS, used to discover the Higgs Boson were built at RAL.

See the Particle Physics for you page for more information.

Nuclear Physics studies the properties and behaviour of atomic nuclei and how they are created. All the different elements found on Earth were created by nuclear processes in stars.

STFC funds UK nuclear physicists to use international radioactive beam facilities like ISOLDE at CERN to study the constituents and interactions of nuclei and how they are formed in the different stages of a stars life. The STFC Daresbury Laboratory is home to the Nuclear Physics Group who support and co-ordinate the research of the whole nuclear physics community. Nuclear physics is important in a wide variety of situations, from medical imaging and cancer treatments to radioactive dating and energy generation.

See the Nuclear Physics for you page for more information.

Atoms and the Periodic Table

(Credit: STFC)

The ATLAS Experiment Movie

(Credit: CERN)

See also

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000