Education and Outreach

The Institutions affiliated with the APS Division of Physics of Beams provide education and training for graduate and undergraduate students, but also for the general public. Formal training in beam physics takes place both at the research groups based in universities and in the national laboratories, most of which have cooperations with nearby universities. In this mechanism, students often profit from the rich infrastructure of the laboratories and have direct exposure to cutting edge technologies and methods. There are also numerous summer student programs both for graduates and undergraduates that provide direct contact between universities and national laboratories. Furthermore, various institutions have activities aimed to make science accessible to school children and adults.

The US Particle Accelerator School is a unique institution funded by the US Department of Energy as well as a consortium of US National Laboratories. Each year, it hosts two schools at varying university campuses throughout the United States. At each school, in the order of 100 students participate in one of five or six courses that are compressed into two week blocks. Credit is earned from the sponsoring institution and can be transferred to can be transferred to the students' home institutions.

Michigan State University offers an interactive Master's and Ph.D. program in Beam Physics through its Virtual University system. Students participate in video conferenced courses and work on interactive, web-based homework problems. Thesis work can be performed within research groups at many accelerator laboratories under the supervision of a local scientist.

The staff at Jefferson Laboratory initiated the program CEBAF BEAMS (Becoming Enthusiastic About Mathematics and Science) in cooperation with local school districts. Middle school students spend a week at Jefferson Lab and participate in activities that foster awareness of science with scientists, engineers and technicians as well as their regular teachers. Each year, more than 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers have participated in the program. 

Science Theater is an organization of students at Michigan State University that was initiated by graduate students in Beam Physics. Its purpose is to educate the general public about scientific phenomena through informal and exciting shows and demonstrations. Science Theater has won several national prizes, including the 1993 Outreach Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The photo shows a young prospective physicist experimenting with an (air) beam.