New app to demystify the neutrino

Jul 2, 2018

Breakthrough innovation specialists, Cambridge Consultants, and leaders in theoretical particle physics, Durham University, have partnered to create an innovative iOS app that harnesses augmented reality to educate users on what neutrinos are, to visualise where they are produced and to emphasise why they’re so significant to modern science. The partnership aims to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students in secondary education and beyond.

Created in partnership with the internationally renowned Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology at Durham University, the free app, named NeutrinoScope, is the first of its kind, and enables users to see a real-world visualisation of neutrinos and to learn key facts.

Neutrinos are one of the most important and mysterious particles in the universe. They are produced by many things, including the nuclear fusion processes that power the sun and stars, and may hold the key to how matter evolved after the Big Bang, creating everything around us. Despite this, they are incredibly hard to detect and understand.

With three educational features, the NeutrinoScope app addresses this lack of understanding in a highly creative and engaging way to attract interest in STEM subjects and careers amongst young people.

After an initial quiz to pique interest, app-users are invited to the “Interact” mode that uses augmented reality to project animated sources of neutrinos onto a flat surface, explaining key facts and behaviours. Users can expect to see sources ranging from a power station to the humble banana.

Next, the app invites the user to “Explore”, showing neutrinos superimposed onto the world around them. Although usually invisible, neutrinos are emitted by many common objects and with the NeutrinoScope app users can see sources create the particles in front of their eyes. 

Silvia Pascoli, Professor at the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, Durham University and Principal Investigator of the ERC grant NuMass said: “Neutrinos are vitally important and have the potential to solve some of the biggest mysteries in physics, including why everything we see in the Universe is made of matter and not antimatter. Despite this, they are poorly understood. With its rich history of developing breakthrough products, Cambridge Consultants was the clear choice of partner for this important project, creating a unique app that will transform teaching techniques and create a more engaging experience for students to learn about the fascinating world of particle physics”.

The app – available now on the Apple App Store – will be showcased at the ‘Ghosts in the Universe’ exhibit at the prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, which opens on 2 July 2018. 

Tim Fowler, Head of Wireless and Digital Services, Cambridge Consultants added: “Particle physics, and more specifically neutrinos, is an important field of study that is fundamental to our understanding of the world around us. We’re delighted to partner with Durham University on this project, leveraging our software development and user experience teams to create a first-of-its-kind app that will aid education on the subject. We’re excited to launch the app and hope it goes some way to inspire the next generation of STEM graduates.”

Notes to editors

About Cambridge Consultants and Capgemini

About Cambridge Consultants
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, services and intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 60 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 800 team members, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, energy and wireless communications.

About Capgemini Invent
As the digital innovation, design and transformation brand of the Capgemini Group, Capgemini Invent enables CxOs to envision and shape the future of their businesses. Located in nearly 40 studios and more than 60 offices around the world, it comprises a 10,000+ strong team of strategists, data scientists, product and experience designers, brand experts and technologists who develop new digital services, products, experiences and business models for sustainable growth.

Capgemini Invent is an integral part of Capgemini, a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided everyday by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organization of over 325,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fueled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering and platforms. The Group reported in 2021 global revenues of €18 billion.

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