About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2830-2838
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

A VIRTUAL REALITY VISIT IN A LARGE SCALE RESEARCH FACILITY FOR PARTICLE PHYSICS EDUCATION AND PUBLIC RELATION

T. Bergmann, A. Kopmann, M. Steidl, J. Wolf

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (GERMANY)
During lectures and courses in experimental particle physics it is worthwhile to undertake excursions with student groups to large-scale experiments. It is regarded as an essential aspect of teaching to provide sensual and visual experience on-site beyond theoretical and scientific lessons. The reason for this high educational value is that including additional senses to the learning process supports sustainable comprehension. However, excursions are expensive and time-consuming, and experimental sites in fundamental physics are often difficult to access: During the development phase the sub-components of an experiment are built and tested in distributed places around the world and after the final assembly it is often not possible to access the interesting locations for security reasons.

We propose using virtual reality models (VR) as an alternative or complementation to on-site visits at large-scale experiments. The presented VR application prototype uses as case study a large-scale research facility on our campus side, namely the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment KATRIN. This VR system can be used to walk through all experimental halls and to inspect the main components of the experiment. Close to each component a virtual 'info point' describes its functionality. A virtual circuit is marked and passes all interesting locations. The navigation is implemented similar to adventure games which provides the advantage, that many young people are already familiar with this interface. The VR model is based on the original CAD technical drawings, thus, the virtual experiment setup is closed to reality with respect to shape and size. We use a standard stereoscopic 3D TV as display, in order to give a realistic impression of the size of the experimental dimensions. A simpler non-stereoscopic version is available for standard screens.

In order to become familiar with experimental modes of operation a game task is integrated into the VR system. Its goal is to activate all single main components and to use the experiment detector for taking data of the fundamental physical processes. To be able to solve the game puzzle, it is necessary to have visited the 'info points' of the virtual circuit and to understand the basic principles of the experimental setup. Students may immediately train their knowledge after a virtual circuit and test their understanding of the interplay of all parts in the experiment. The game task introduces interaction with the experiment setup, which never would be possible in reality. We are convinced that VR systems provide an alternative playful and hands-on access to large-scale research facilities.

In the talk, we present details of the VR system and the underlying ideas. The benefits of VR systems in education and public relations are discussed. Our final outlook focuses on two possible extensions: the integration of physical simulations; and the visualization of the current state and properties of the 'real' system.
@InProceedings{BERGMANN2014AVI,
author = {Bergmann, T. and Kopmann, A. and Steidl, M. and Wolf, J.},
title = {A VIRTUAL REALITY VISIT IN A LARGE SCALE RESEARCH FACILITY FOR PARTICLE PHYSICS EDUCATION AND PUBLIC RELATION},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2830-2838}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Bergmann AU - A. Kopmann AU - M. Steidl AU - J. Wolf
TI - A VIRTUAL REALITY VISIT IN A LARGE SCALE RESEARCH FACILITY FOR PARTICLE PHYSICS EDUCATION AND PUBLIC RELATION
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 2830
EP - 2838
ER -
T. Bergmann, A. Kopmann, M. Steidl, J. Wolf (2014) A VIRTUAL REALITY VISIT IN A LARGE SCALE RESEARCH FACILITY FOR PARTICLE PHYSICS EDUCATION AND PUBLIC RELATION, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 2830-2838.
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