The course

Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
ALBA synchrotron
ICCUB
Barcelona Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB-CSIC)
Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)

From January 29th to November 15th 2022

The Physics course of the Mad for Science programme of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation is a course developed jointly by the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), aimed at 1st year A-Level students with a special interest and talent in physics. The basic purpose of this course is to foster the scientific vocation of these young people and especially their enthusiasm for physics. In some of the sessions students may come up with ideas and proposals for their A-Level Research Project that they will be able to carry out, as the case may be, with the support of the course faculty.

What does it mean to do research in physics? Not only is there an answer, but in the Physics course from the Mad for Science programme, we will see a whole series of projects that are at the border of research and thus we will understand what day-to-day research for a physicist is like. Studying the structure of the universe and the structure of matter, understanding quantum physics and putting them at the service of communications, developing sensors with new materials and fabricating detectors that are used in particle accelerators, analysing nature chaos processes and learning to master light and finding new applications.

The work of researchers in physics ranges from the smallest to the largest, from particles to atoms and to the entire cosmos. In this course we will be able to experience these various branches of physics and thus get a closer idea of what this research really looks like. And let's not forget about technology. Experimental and applied physics are closely linked to the development of new technologies that not only serve to study in detail what surrounds us, but also to advance society.

In this course you will find topics we know that interest you: quantum, cosmology, matter, particles... You will see the greatest scientific experiments and the most innovative applications. But one thing we want you to learn with this programme is to start thinking like a physicist. Because you will see that each and every one of us - in the theoretical and experimental, applied or fundamental - does very different things, but there is one thing that unites us: we all want to explain what surrounds us from simple principles. This is what defines a person who is really mad for physics.

The course will be held on 11 Saturdays from January 29th to November 15th 2022 in areas of different Catalan centres for research in physics.

Registration for the Mad for Physics course will be open from September 15th to October 25th 2021 and among all those enrolled 25 students will be selected from 1st year of A-Levels to participate in this edition of the course within the 10th edition of the Mad for Science programme that will take place in 2022.

The course will cover the following areas:

  • Particle Physics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonics
  • Cosmology
  • Astrophysics
  • Materials Science
  • Astronomy

 

Specific objectives

Complements the academic studies

Promoting among young people the scientific vocations linked to the world of physics, taking into account different areas of application and research, while helping to guide their academic and professional future.


Research environment

Disseminating the research in frontier physics in research centres and universities in Catalonia.
Understanding the operation of research centres linked to Physics, a discipline that is much more diverse than what young students suspect.

Sessions 2022

Working with electrons

Day: Saturday January 29th

Location: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Session coordination: ICN2

The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elemental electric charge. Without electron microscopy we would not be able to see what nanomaterials we are making at ICN2. The scale at which we work at ICN2 makes electron microscopes the only tool that allows us to see nanomaterials in order to know more about their structure and to characterise morphologically, structurally and chemically the samples with which we work.

This session aims at the production, characterisation and subsequent observation by electron microscopy techniques of different nanostructured materials, mainly metal nanoparticles. If you want to do nanotechnology, you must master its use or know specialised staff such as the people taking this session.

For the practical session with electron microscopes we will be divided into several groups. You will have the opportunity to work with a scanning electron and a microscope to view real samples prepared here at ICN2. The session will last about 3 hours.

Particle physics in the LHC's ATLAS detector

Day: Saturday February 5th

Location: Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)

Session given by: ATLAS Group

In this session we will discover the world of Quarks and Leptons with real-time data from the ATLAS detector at LHC, the largest particle accelerator in the world. After an introduction to basic research to study the fundamental forces and particles of the so-called standard model, we will delve into the methods researchers use: data analysis and hadron collision simulations.
 

The role of paper sensors

Day: Saturday March 5th

Location: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Session coordination: ICN2

Paper is a material made of cellulose, the most abundant polymer on Earth. So why not use this material to make low-cost sensors? In this session we will learn the physical and chemical principles that will allow simple and efficient paper sensors to be designed, as well as the relationship between this material and nanotechnology.

Visit ALBA Synchrotron

Day: Saturday April 16th

Location: ALBA Synchrotron

Session coordination: ALBA Synchrotron

Water on nanostructured surfaces

Day: Saturday May 7th

Location: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Session coordination: ICN2

Cosmology

Day: Saturday May 28th

Location: Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)

Session coordination: IFAE

Particle physics

Day: Saturday May 4th

Location: Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)

Session coordination: IFAE

Quantum computing with superconducting circuits

Day: Saturday June 18th

Location: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Session coordination: IFAE i ICN2

Discover the power of photonics

Day: Saturday September 17th

Location: Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)

Session coordination: ICFO

Nanomaterials: From the lab to the street

Day: Saturday October 1st

Location: Barcelona Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB)

Session coordination: Barcelona Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB)

The enthusiasm and high level of specialisation of many researchers often causes research into new materials in order to focus on inventions of high scientific interest, but which are difficult to apply to our everyday lives. However, there are cases when research efforts have resulted in products that could easily enter our daily lives.

What if this effort is made by Catalan researchers? What if they do it in collaboration with a Catalan company? In this session we will look at some of these (nano) materials, which can be used in the future in some applications that you could not even imagine existed!

Nanoelectronics

Day: Saturday October 15th

Location: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)

Session coordination: ICN2

Schedule
Schedule
Saturday January 29th
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Working with electrons
Session by ICN2
Saturday February 5th
Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)
Particle physics in the LHC's ATLAS detector
Session by the IFAE ATLAS Group
Saturday March 5th
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
The role of paper sensors
Session by ICN2
Saturday April 16th
ALBA Synchrotron
Visit ALBA Synchrotron
Session by the ALBA Synchrotron
Saturday May 7th
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Water on nanostructured surfaces
Session by ICN2
Saturday May 28th
Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)
Cosmology
Session by IFAE
Saturday May 4th
Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE)
Particle physics
Session by IFAE
Saturday June 18th
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Quantum computing with superconducting circuits
Session by IFAE and ICN2
Saturday September 17th
Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
Discover the power of photonics
Session by ICFO
Saturday October 1st
Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)
Nanomaterials: From the lab to the street
Session by ICMAB
Saturday October 15th
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Nanoelectronics
Session by ICN2