Tour one of the world’s most famous science experiments – the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider – in Minecraft! Having sold over 100 million copies, Minecraft is one of the most popular video games ever developed, with users creating, sharing and exploring virtual worlds.
What is it? A Minecraft map of CERN and ATLAS, together with particle physics minigames. It is a 3-D interactive replica of CERN, complete with the buildings, beamline tunnels and the ATLAS Experiment as a centerpiece.
Who is it for? You! Anyone who wants to explore CERN and find out more about what happens there.
Who made it? UK secondary school students, in collaboration with ATLAS scientists from the University of Birmingham and University of Oxford. The students, who range in age from 13 to 15, hail from Abingdon School, Fitzharrys School, Didcot Girls’ School and Portsmouth Grammar School. The project was a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, University of Oxford, the Institute for Research in Schools and the Abingdon Science Partnership, with technical expertise and support from CERN. The project was funded by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), as a Public Engagement award, and also by the ATLAS Outreach Group.
What is inside? The map contains an interactive museum of particle physics, using Minecraft constructions to explain the workings and function of different ATLAS detector parts. Anyone exploring the map will find striking images of the detector accompanied by detailed explanations, and mini-games to explore the world of particle physics that were created by the students. During the process of building the ATLAS detector in Minecraft, the students learned about how particle detectors work, and incorporated their observations into the game.