2014 WSU Abstract: Measuring Muon Lifetime

Which geometry is best for calculating muon lifetime?

Amanda Holbrook and Adrian Sandoval
After testing muon lifetime, we wondered if the stacked geometry we used to collect data was really the best way to calculate muon lifetime. We decided to test multiple geometries and determine which geometry worked best. We tested four different setups under similar conditions, and then compared the results. We got some interesting results and came up with a conclusion that is in no way definitive, but gives some general information.


2014 WSU Abstract: Angle and Flux

The relationship between angle and flux

Josh Eisenman and Gia Resendiz
For outr experiment we compared flux and the angle at which detectors are oriented. As we predicted the decrease in angle results in a decrease in flux. it seems that there is a Sine sort of relationship between angle and flux and that the closer the angle is to 45 the greater the rate of change is observed in the flux patterns.


2014 WSU Abstract: Ionic Solutions and Muons

The effect of ionic solutions and their concentrations on the arrival rate of muons

Kyle Duffey, Sharon Zeng
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of small electromagnetic forces like the ones in ionic solutions could produce a noticeable effect on muon flux. To study this, detectors were placed above and below a cooler which held various solutions such as NaCl and CaCl2. Water, corn oil, and an empty cooler were also used as bases for comparison. Due to time restraints, only one trial was conducted for each variable. While all liquids had lower flux rates than the empty cooler, CaCl2 and corn oil did not produce the expected results. Muon flux when the cooler was filled with NaCl was lower than when the cooler was filled with water, and decreased when the concentration of the solution increased. Although it was not statistically significant, muon flux increased when molarity of CaCl2 increased. Corn oil produced an average muon flux that was lower than both water and NaCl, which may be due to corn oil's high viscosity. Overall, the experiment produced promising results but did not lead to a concrete conclusion.


2014 WSU Abstract: Comparing the Velocity of Muons Indoors vs Outdoors

Muon Velocity

Andrew Rouditchenko; Ariane Troschinetz
Researchers and other QuarkNet student groups have conducted studies observing that the velocities of muon particles from cosmic ray showers reach almost the speed of light, 3x108 m/s. This experiment was conducted to determine if calculated velocities for the particle differed depending on the environment of the setup. Four stacked scintillator panels were used to detect incoming muons. The distance between these panels and the coincidence settings varied depending on the specific setup. Two experiments were conducted indoors: the first with a total distance of 1.4 meters between the top and the bottom panels, the second with a total distance of 2.93 meters. These conditions were repeated outdoors near the entrance to the building with only minute differences. Due to technical restraints, only three panels collected data outside. Logic statements were implemented into excel spreadsheets to aid in the effort to analyze thousands of lines of data. It was observed that the second method, with a greater distance between panels, provided more accurate results similar to other sources. The calculated velocities using both methods were greater for the outdoor conditions than the indoor conditions. However, these differences were not significant. It was concluded that the infrastructure did not affect the measurable velocity of the muons.


2014 WSU Abstract: Do All Muons Enter the Detectors Vertically?

Muon Flux v. Horizontal Surface Area

Jekoven Tinsley, Isabel Ivanescu

In order to determine whether all muons travel, and thus enter the detector, vertically, we conducted an experiment in which the angle of the panels was varied, so as to change the horizontal surface area. Based on the changes in average flux, we concluded to some muons are deflected to, or created in, non-vertical paths.

Link to online poster.

2014 Annual Report - HU/WM/GMU

Virginia QuarkNet Center 2014 Activity Report                                    9/17/14

The Virginia QuarkNet Center currently has 10 active high school teachers from across Virginia, and has been actively recruiting additional participants. Josh Erlich from The College of William and Mary, Phil Rubin from George Mason University, and Vassilis Vassilikopoulos from Hampton University are the mentors. Several teachers share leadership responsibilities, with Deborah Roudebush acting as the lead teacher. Mike Fetsko is an LHC Fellow and attended the Boot Camp/Data Camp redesign meeting in October. Hank Horn is active as a Leadership Fellow.
Masterclass 2014
The Virginia center held two Masterclasses in March 2014. One was focused on ATLAS date and was held at George Mason University in northern Virginia. Phil Rubin acted as the mentor, and lead teacher Deborah Roudebush was the main organizer. Another was focused on CMS data and took place at the College of William and Mary, with Josh Erlich mentoring and lead teacher Mike Fetsko organizing.
The Virginia center generally has a 2-3 day summer workshop and 2 or 3 Saturday workshops. This year, they met at the Bryan Innovation Lab of The Steward School near Richmond on November 23, 2013 and at Oakton High School in Northern Virginia on February 22, 2014.
The workshop at the Steward school included a talk by Josh Erlich on the concept of holography in gravity, a measurement of the speed of light using chocolate and a microwave oven, a discussion of the relevance of relativity for GPS led by Deborah Roudebush, and planning for recruitment and future activities.
The workshop at Oakton High School included a talk by Phil Rubin, orientation for the Masterclass, discussion of the new AP physics curriculum, and planning for future activities.
The summer 2013 workshop took place August 12-14, 2013 at the College of William & Mary and included a tour of Jefferson Lab and labs at William & Mary, talks by Josh Erlich on physics beyond the standard model and Camillo Mariani (who visited from Virginia Tech) on neutrinos, discussion led by Deborah Roudebush on inquiry & uncertainty and on the new AP Physics curriculum, and planning for future activities.


2014 Annual Report - Northern Illinois University

Annual Report on QuarkNet activities at the NIU center, 2014

The QuarkNet center at NIU is happy to report another year full of engaged learning activities with participation of students and teachers from several area High Schools. The center’s mentors Profs. Dhiman Chakraborty and Michael Eads were assisted by graduate students Blake Burghgrave and Puja Saha in conducting the annual spring masterclass and summer institute. Detailed programs of these can be found on http://nicadd.niu.edu/quarknet/events.php. In addition, each of two HS students gained 6-week summer internship experience under the supervision of Prof. Eads.

The Masterclass, which took place on March 14, was attended by 17 students, including an exchange student from Germany, and three teachers from participating high schools: Metea Valley High School (Aurora, IL), Neuqua Velley High School (Naperville, IL), and Sterling High School (sterling, IL). It was a highly successful event, with all HS students successfully analyzing ATLAS data with tools and instructions provided, and discussing their findings with Fermilab scientists and participants at two other centers by video conferencing at the end of the day. A university media article covering the event is available at http://www.niutoday.info/2014/03/14/a-super-collider-lesson/.
The summer institute, which spanned the entire week of July 07, was attended by 12 students and three teachers from the same schools. The program included introductory talks by NIU physicists as well as a guest speaker, Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal, from Duke U./Fermilab, experimentation with Cosmic Ray detectors, and an extensive tour of Fermilab. The students split in three groups, each of which performed their own experiment. In the morning of the last day, they presented the results as a talk accompanied by a written report. These can be found under the agenda on the program page above. The program concluded with a half-day tour of Fermilab, which included guided tours of the 15th Muon g-2 building, the underground neutrino areas, the Liquid Argon Test Facility, the DZero detector, and the Tevatron tunnel. Enthusiastic positive feedback was received from several of the participants. floor of the Wilson Hall, the new Muon g-2 building, the underground neutrino areas, the Liquid Argon Test Facility, the DZero detector, and the Tevatron tunnel. Enthusiastic positive feedback was received from several of the participants.
Two of the HS students were selected by their respective schools (MVHS and NVHS) for the 6-week summer internship program, which followed the institute. Abstracts of their work have been submitted separately by their supervisor, Prof. Eads.
In addition to the above, like previous years, the NIU QuarkNet center put up a booth at the annual NIU STEM Fest in October 2013, and will do the same at the next one coming up in one month: http://stemfest.niu.edu/stemfest/. The day-long event open to public is visited by thousands each year. The QuarkNet booth featuring the CR detector, samples of various detector elements, posters about High-Energy Physics, and manned by mentors, teachers, as well as students from the QN center at NIU has enjoyed good popularity each of the past three years since the festival’s inception.
The NIU QN team is happy to welcome Prof. Jahred Adelman, who has joined the university in Fall 2014, as a new mentor. Given the necessary funding support, this expansion of the team can be expected to translate into a substantial growth in the center’s reach and range of activities.

UND Project GRAND Group Abstract

Project GRAND is an array of 64 proportional wire chamber stations, located on the north edge of the Notre Dame campus.  Project GRAND provides insights into the origins of cosmic rays from extraterrestrial sources, and also permits a method of detecting solar events and the ways in which they interact with Earth.  The experiment was originally operated in support of graduate and undergraduate research programs under the direction of Dr. John Poirier, Professor Emeritus of Physics, and was constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Maintenance and upkeep of the detector array and its associated hardware and software is on ongoing task that is labor-intensive.  Numerous repairs and upgrades continue to increase the operability of the experiments and reduce the workload required to operate and maintain the experiment.  The project serves as a valuable outreach tool for high school students and teachers to study astrophysics.

2014 Annual Report - Purdue University Calumet

Purdue University Calumet QuarkNet Center
2014 Annual Report
This summer was the inaugural year for the Purdue University Calumet QuarkNet Center. Dr. Neeti Parashar, Professor of Physics and leader of the High Energy Physics Program serves as the faculty mentor for the QuarkNet. In following with the structure laid out by the QuarkNet management, Purdue Calumet Center took off on June 9, 2014, for a 8-week program with the hiring of two lead high school teachers from the local region in Northwest Indiana.
Larry Hautzinger has been teaching for 23 years. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Master’s degree from University of Central Florida. He has been teaching physics, chemistry and biology at Munster High School, Munster, Indiana since 2001.
Adam Erler is a new teacher just entering the profession. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. He has taken a teaching position at Hammond Academy of Science and Technology (HAST) School in Hammond, Indiana.
The 8-week program was divided into two weeks of training in Particle Physics at Purdue Calumet campus in Hammond, Indiana and 6 weeks of research at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. The first week included Introduction to Particle Physics lectures given by Dr. Sudhir Malik, Dr. John Stupak and Dr Neeti Parashar. In the second week they worked on the Cosmic Ray Detector lent to Purdue Calumet by University of Notre Dame. This detector is a very fundamental experiment encompassing basic principles of physics, including particle physics. From assembling to taking measurements, to analyzing data, Larry and Adam single handedly performed all the operations, with minimal to no supervision. This was very impressive. Parashar visited the Purdue West Lafayette QuarkNet program to learn about their activities. Mr. Ken Cecire from the University of Notre Dame and the QuarkNet Coordinator came for a visit to Purdue Calumet to observe the progress of the program.
After 2 weeks, Larry and Adam joined Parashar and her team, Dr. John Stupak, the post-doctoral research associate, Michael Carter, Computer Science Master’s student and physics undergraduate student Xuan Chen at Fermilab for a 6 week internship at Fermilab. The proximity of the University to Fermilab has facilitated this collaboration immensely. During this 6-week period they worked on two projects - the CMS Forward Pixel Detector and data analysis to prepare for their 2015 Masterclasses.
Purdue Calumet has historically contributed to the construction, operation, and software development of the CMS Forward Pixel Detector (FPIX). Given that much of the work on the FPIX upgrade is being performed at Fermilab’s Silicon Detector Facility (SiDet), it offers a very unique opportunity for the Purdue Calumet group to be involved in. The upgrade of the LHC luminosity will present experimental as well as technological challenges in terms of large particle fluxes and high radiation levels. This would require a replacement of the current pixel detector, designed for an increased luminosity of 2 x 1034 cm-2s-1, in the first phase of the upgrade, called Super LHC Phase 1. The new Phase I pixel detector with four barrel layers and three endcap disks is being designed to minimize the material budget and increases the tracking points, and the development of a fast digital readout architecture, which ensures readout efficiency even at high rate. Preparations for a test stand have already begun. Stupak, based at Fermilab, is one of the responsibles in the development of testing protocols for readout chips and production modules. Larry and Adam contributed significantly to this effort at Fermilab, parts of which were shipped to CERN to be incorporated into the current detector for a pilot testing effort. Mr. Cecire visited SiDet to observe their progress.
The second activity that the lead teachers were involved in was to analyze and interpret the Masterclass data from previous years. They attended a Masterclass at Fermilab, where Parashar was a mentor to 3 international groups from Australia and one from University of Notre Dame. This provided a very valuable experience in terms of learning how scientist look at large data sets and make sense out of it. We shall all be working toward a 2015 Masterclass to be 
conducted at Purdue Calumet for Munster High School and HAST students. Adam also attended the 5-day Data Camp at Fermilab that involved other QuarkNet teachers from all around the country.
This was a very enriching experience for Larry and Adam since they worked at a world-class laboratory facility and interacted with brilliant scientists from all around the world, while enjoying a very diverse culture at the lab. On their won, they also built a table top Cloud Chamber.
Both Adam and Larry are very excited to be involved with QuarkNet and take their students to a Masterclass experience. They also look forward to next year in working to bring more teachers into the fold. The plan for summer 2015 is to host a QuarkNet teachers workshop at Purdue Calumet with Larry and Adam as the lead teachers.
From left: Larry Hautzinger, Xuan Chen and Adam Erler, testing CMS FPIX Modules at Fermilab’s SiDet, Summer 2014.
From left: Xuan Chen, Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger, Neeti Parashar in the MINOS tunnel at Fermilab, 2014.
From left: Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger and Ken Cecire at Purdue University Calumet, 2014.
From left: Larry Hautzinger, Adam Erler working on the Cosmic Ray Detector at Purdue University Calumet, 2014
  From left: Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger, Dean William Law, Xuan Chen, John Stupak and Neeti Parashar at Fermilab’s clean room
  where the Purdue Calumet team works on CMS FPIX, 2014.
  Download the PDF version of this report at: 


UND Biocomplexity Abstract

The biocomplexity group developed a protein binding model for biochemistry, examined several different types of “random walks” (typically used in stochastic modeling), and revamped and redesigned the University of Notre Dame’s Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Biocomplexity teacher website;Computational Biomodeling . The student member of the group was B. Bahr and the teacher members of the biocomplexity group were Michael Sinclair and Helene Dauerty.