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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Higgs Boson Dominoes

Higgs Boson Dominoes is a programme led by Dr Seth Zenz, supported by an STFC Spark Award, with Dr Ben Still, Visiting Research Associate at Queen Mary and Head of STEM Partnerships at St Paul's School, as a project partner. The programme will ultimately deliver a set of wooden pieces to up to 100 UK classrooms, which can be used for a range of games, puzzles, and other activities! Please contact Dr Zenz for more info on the project

Introduction

Each hexagonal piece of the Higgs Boson Dominoes set contains a line representing a particle: a wavy line for a photon, W boson, or Z boson; a curly line for a gluon; a straight line with an arrow for a quark or lepton; and a dotted line for the Higgs boson! Put together, they can be used to make Feynman diagrams, which illustrate how the Higgs boson or other particles are produced and decay. These are the very interactions at the Large Hadron Collider that ATLAS physicists at Queen Mary use to study the Higgs boson and learn how the universe is put together.

The pieces can be used to solve puzzles about how particle interact. They can also be used in games that illustrate more advanced concepts, and introduce some of the friendly competition that motivates Higgs boson scientists at the LHC!

Resources

We are in the process of piloting the activity with a small number of schools and hope to expand into more schools over the coming year. We will have additional resources available for use in the classroom soon!

If you would like to print your own set of wooden pieces as a remote or classroom activity, or to experiment on your own, the formats below will allow you to produce the pieces with a laser cutter or alternatively, they can printed onto regular paper.