UND CMS Upgrade Group Abstract

CMS Upgrade continued research looking for a detector which can tolerate the high levels of radiation found near the beam line.  Our line of research began with the idea of imbedding a optical fiber in a quartz tube.  The quartz tube is rad hard so it will tolerate the environment for long periods of time.  We have now replace the optical fiber with a liquid detector.  The advantage of using a liquid is that when it eventually is destroyed by the radiation it can be flushed out and replaced with  new liquid.   We used a MatLab program to compare the light output in different samples.  We also used a spectrophotometer to compare samples of liquid detector irradiated at various levels.  Members of our team include Mark Vigneault, Mike McKenna and Barry Baumbaugh, all of whom are staff from Notre Dame QuarkNet.  plus John Taylor and Brian Dolezal, high school teachers,  and two high school students E. Beach and C. Whittaker.

2014 Annual Report - Boston

Our Boston QuarkNet Center held its usual round on school-year meetings and summer workshop in 2013-2014, as described below.

Minutes from the Meeting on 11 December 2013 at Roxbury Latin School:

On Wednesday December 11 we held our usual late fall meeting at Roxbury Latin School. Catherine Haberkorn and Mike Wadness joined us from Medford. Michael Hamblin came from Concord. Gerry Gagnon arrived from Newton South, and Mike Hirsh made the trip from Needham. Several colleagues were hindered by family and school obligations. Catherine suggested that a better time for the meeting may, perhaps be in January rather than during the holiday rush in December. That is something we should explore next winter.

Over hot cider and snacks we had wide ranging conversations about physics and physics teaching that mad the evening enjoyable. Our particular focus was on internet resources for physics teaching. Mike Hirsh brought up the Veritasium web site and showed the paradox of the spinning wooden block hit by a bullet fired at the center of mass and to one side of the center of mass – an intriguing exploration of physics intuition and insight. Mike Wadness walked us through the i2u2.org CMS e-lab site and recommended it as a follow-up for the Masterclass experience for students in March or as an investigation during the post-AP time in May and June. Mike Hamblin extolled the Creation of the Universe DVD with Timothy Ferris as a source of inspiration for students and teachers, alike. Catherine introduced us to the TED talk of Sanjay Mahajan on “Streetfighting Mathematics” in which he started with a simple demonstration of air drag and ended by estimating the relative cost of transportation per person of an automobile and a jet passenger plane – an impressive demonstration of making sense of the world from simple observations and the mathematics of relationships and dimensional analysis. Rick showed the University of Colorado site at phet.colorado.edu which contains many useful interactive physics simulations, Don Lincoln videos on youtube in which he explains a variety of particle physics topics and the Philip Morrison segments on youtube, taken from his Ring of Truth programs, which show a variety of fascinating demonstrations.

There was some discussion of sources of interesting physics problems that could be the source of class efforts. After vaguely remembering that the group at the University of Minnesota has worked on that, I Googled “context rich physics problems” (after the meeting) and up popped the sites at Minnesota that contain a great variety of such problems and instructions for creating your own.


  Finally, we ended the evening with a challenge to be explained. If, according to Faraday’s law, the voltage generated around a loop of wire depends on the rate of change of flux through the loop, then why does the output voltage of a transformer not depend on the frequency of the input voltage and only depends on the turn ratio of the primary and secondary coils? Is it a matter of the different responses of a circuit to a transient versus a steady state input? Any informative responses to this question will help Mike Hamblin refrain from tearing out any more of his hair.

Minutes from the Meeting on 26 February 2014 at Roxbury Latin School:

A chilly Wednesday night in February (2/26) was warmed by the company of Catherine Haberkorn, Chris Perkins, Ayo Awobode, Gerry Gagnon, George Odell, Mike Wadness, and Mike Hirsh along with George Alverson from Northeastern and Darwin, a video visitor from the Virtual QuarkNet group. After some hot apple cider, snacks, and conversation, Mike Wadness walked us through the teacher preparation necessary for the upcoming Particle Physics Masterclass at Northeastern (3/15).

Mike noted that some Higgs events have been added to the data set for the Masterclass.

Particle Physics Masterclass at Northeastern University on 15 March 2014

Our yearly Particle Physics Masterclass was organized by Mike Wadness and George Alverson and held at Northeastern University on 15 March 2013. About 16 students enjoyed the opportunity to become engaged in particle physics discovery.

CERN’s “Beam Line 4 Schools” Contest

Student groups supervised by Mike Wadness at Medford High School and Rick Dower at Roxbury Latin School submitted written particle physics experiment proposals and 1-minute videos to CERN to be considered in the “Beam Line 4 Schools” contest. Though they did not win, both groups greatly enjoyed the process of putting together the proposals and constructing the videos.

Minutes from the Meeting on 21 May 2014 at Roxbury Latin School:

We had a very congenial meeting last night with a picnic supper to celebrate the spring. In addition to George Alverson from Northeastern, Tom Jordan, our QuarkNet regional coordinator joined us from Northhampton. Teachers attending were Michael Hamblin, Chris Perkins, Ayo Awobode, Gerry Gagnon, Mike Wadness, Mike Hirsh, Pat Corcoran, and Rick Dower. After some initial conversation about AP exams, we talked about some of the activities we do with our classes at this time of year. Mike Wadness gives his students some practical exercises in optics. Mike Hirsh has his students build simple AM radios (no amplifiers) that easily pick up a nearby transmitter. Chris Perkins has his chemistry students pair up to develop demonstrations that they present to the rest of their class.

During conversation about relativity, Rick Dower recommended the book Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps by Peter Galison  for its discussion of the widespread technical interest in clock synchronization in Switzerland (and the rest of the world) at the time that Einstein was developing his relativity theory. He was working at the Swiss Patent Office and reviewing patent applications for devices related to that problem in the early 1900s. Rick also demonstrated the Faraday Rotation apparatus built by Teach Spin. The effect was mentioned on the recent Cosmos show that featured the work of Michael Faraday. The 1845 discovery was the first evidence of the interaction between light, matter, and magnetism. Rick also showed the measurement of the speed (2 x 108 m/s) of electromagnetic signals in coaxial cable. The demonstration was inspired by a January 2003 article in The Physics Teacher by Se-Yuen Mak.


 Mike Wadness and Rick Dower showed the 1-minute videos made by their students as part of their “Beam Line 4 Schools” experiment proposals for the CERN contest. Mike Hirsh introduced the Veritasium experiment comparing the result of shooting a bullet into the center of a wood block and into an off-center location. The prediction and experimental observation evoked much comment. Find it on Youtube by searching for “bullet in block.”

Ayo is looking for a new physics teaching position for next year. Please let him know if you become aware of any in the area.

We have planned a two-day summer Workshop at Roxbury Latin on Wednesday and Thursday August 20-21, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. The major topic will be working with the cosmic ray muon detectors. Several of us want more practice setting up measurements and uploading data so that we can have greater confidence when helping students use the detectors.

Minutes from the QuarkNet Workshop on 20-21 August 2014 at Roxbury Latin School:

On August 20-21 we had an enjoyable opportunity to work together getting our QuarkNet Cosmic Ray Muon Detectors (CRMD) calibrated and working. Chris Perkins brought his new physics-teaching colleague, Tammy Kjonaas, up from Providence along with the CRMD that he assembled two years ago at Wheeler School. Pat Corcoran came with the CRMD that Tom Jordan helped him and Michael Hirsh put together at Needham High this past summer. I got back to calibrating the detector that I put together at Roxbury Latin two years ago. In addition, Gerry Gagnon from Newton South and Amanda Bragan from Dedham High joined in the fun. After plateauing the detectors, we faced up to setting the threshold values for the DAQ boards.

  Thanks to Prof. Stefane Cotu at Penn State, I was able to provide software for running CRMD experiments independent of the QuarkNet analysis software that required uploading the data to the central server first. So on the second day of the workshop Chris and Tammy were able to run a measurement of cosmic ray muon speed. Pat, Amanda, Michael, and Gerry measured the muon flux from the vertical direction compared with the flux arriving at 45 degrees to vertical and the flux along the horizontal.

During the incidental conversation, Pat talked about the fun he had at the Fermilab Particle Physics Boot Camp earlier this summer. It was a pleasure to see everyone engaged and getting results from their detectors.

UND Astro Data Group Abstract 2014

The astrophysics group studied the unusual eclipsing variable star EE Cephei. Using a CCD and colored filters at the Morrison Observatory, Jordan Hall of Science, images of EE Cephei were obtained on four separate evenings. The CCD images were analyzed to obtain magnitudes in blue, infrared, visual, and red wavelengths. The magnitude measurements were submitted to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) for inclusion in a public database. The astrophysics group also participated in asteroid research sponsored by the International Asteroid Search Collaboration (IASC). The students used software to analyze sixteen data sets of asteroid images. Each data set was used to determine the positions of known and potential asteroids, and reports for each data set were submitted to the IASC. The student members of the astrophysics group A. Lucker, K. Huitsing, and J. Purcell. The teacher members of the astrophysics group were Aaron McNeely, Dan Walsh, and Caroline Fletcher. 

2014 Annual Report - U Cincinnati


UC QuarkNet Annual Report Information

September, 2014

The QuarkNet Associate Teacher Institute at the University of Cincinnati conducted its 11th annual workshop from Jun 21-25, 2012.  This year’s workshop included six teachers. The six associate teachers were from various schools in our tri-state area, including suburban, private, and Catholic schools. Teacher learned about the new online tools and program to use with the cosmic ray detectors. Teachers learned to use EQUIP along with setting up a benchmark for analysis and blessing of data. Teachers conducted an extensive experiment comparing the cosmic ray flux rate through various levels of ceiling material by conducting the study at 15 floor Crosley tower. There were challenges trying to get a location for the four detectors and GPS signal on the various levels of the tower.

A 6 count/min/floor difference was found but more data should be taken. A detailed look at the advantages of EQUIP and the continual need for use of the Cosmic ray elab was also completed. Teachers also completed the analysis of the new LHCb Materclass program activities ending with a videoconference between the group and Mike Sokoloff at CERN. Lead by UC professor Alex Sousa, a day was also devoted to everything neutrino. Teachers analyzed neutrino decays with NOVA data and discussed possible applications for a future masterclass-like program or classroom use.

To coincide with CERN’s 60th anniversary this year, the laboratory launched the beam line for schools competition. Teachers and students from three of the schools collaborated to join the competition and produce a proposal. Of the 292 proposals submitted for the International CERN competition, the group was one of 16 given the status of highly commended. 

Watch the video: 


The group will be entering their proposal at the Fermilab test beam facility for a test hopefully next summer.  
Earlier in the year, two high schools participated in the US MasterClass at The University of Cincinnati. Sixteen physics students, along with their teacher Jeff Rodriguez, came from Anderson High School, while twelve physics students came from McAuley High School with their teacher Lisa Nissen. We were one of the few schools to work on the new LHCb masterclass. The event analysis was similar but had interesting differences. Besides analyzing event pictures for particle decays and tagging, teachers were able to make cuts on data to determine the lifetime of the D0.They used Skype to analyze the events and to conference with mentors at their school locations prior to MasterClass Day. 
Two teachers participated in the QuarkNet Data camp held at Fermilab from July 21st -25th. This included a rigorous analysis of dilepton decays from various channels, engaging speakers, tours of the Wilson hall, D0, MINOS, and the labs. Teachers also discussed applying various QuarkNet developed activities for the classroom. It was an excellent opportunity to collaborate on using QuarkNet teacher materials and teaching modern physics concepts in the classroom.
Four high school students, along with QuarkNet teacher David Whittington, completed a 6 week internship working on a research project at University of Cincinnati. Two high school juniors and one high school senior were from a suburban public school and one high school junior from a Catholic high school. 
The overall purpose of the research was to analyze data from decay chains from the LHCb experiment at CERN and to familiarize themselves with the reconstruction software and layers of detectors. After completing a tutorial of ROOT, a C++ based particle physics data analysis program that was used throughout the research, they began to work with packages of ntuples from the LHCb experiment. They learned to reduce backgrounds and were able to see how "clean" the signals were. Students considered and implemented “cuts” to remove unwanted background events and fit plots. 
The group analyzed Ds+K- K+ + and found both Ds+ and D+ decaying into both φ(1020) and K* (892) resonances. The Ds+ and D+masses were measured at 1969.736 ±0.017 MeV and 1870.691 ±0.025 MeV, respectively. 
Two of the students had a very nice signal for a Xi_b^0 decay to Xi-,J/psi,pi+.  They presented their results to the appropriate LHCb working group. The Xi_b^0 has been observed in another decay channel by the CDF experiment, but never before in this decay channel. It made a really exciting conclusion to the formal program as they saw it clearly for the first time the last Friday afternoon. 
Two of the students have continued working on this since the end of the summer program.  They will be authors when the paper is published.


2014 Annual Report - SMU

The SMU Particle Physics group sponsored its annual QuarkNet activities this summer for local high school physics teachers and students. The workshop, an event organized annually since 2001, was held the week of August 4-8, and there were summer-long research projects. This year there were 19 teachers from the Dallas area public and private schools at the workshop. Two teachers and eight students performed summer research in SMU labs. A feature of the workshop this year was a joint day, August 8, at SMU with ten more physics teachers and 30 students from the UT Southwestern STARS program.

During the workshop teachers heard talks on the latest research from SMU professors Tom Coan (NOvA/neutrinos) and Steve Sekula (Standard Model and Beyond). They viewed the new documentary Particle Fever and had a discussion with Prof. Fred Olness about the background to its making. After a discussion about polarization and vacuum condensates, teachers also watched a seminar on YouTube given by the BICEP-2 collaboration on the recent results concerning gravity waves in the early universe. This tied in with the group's trip to LIGO two years ago. During the afternoons the teachers constructed several make-and-take demos that they had seen in the classrooms during their trip to LIGO. Teachers Julia Porowski, Tammy McDaniel, Tim Graves, Nathan Brown, Bruce Boehne and Evelyn Restivo each led a presentation or activity they had brought. Teacher Kevin Cieszkowski presented on the CDMS-Dark Matter research work he did with SMU Prof. Jodi Cooley during the summer. He designed and constructed from a pressure cooker a simple storage container to prevent radioactive contamination.

Leon DeOliveira and four of his high school students spent the summer doing research in the SMU Physics Department's Opto-Electronics lab, working with physicists Datao Gon and Di Guo on the optical data link updates for the ATLAS LAr Calorimeter. Working with SMU graduate student (and former QuarkNet teacher) Farly Ferrante, Ken Taylor and four of his high school students analyzed virgin data from SMU's ROTSE telescope, located at the McDonald Observatory in West Texas. The students discovered five new variable stars and were featured in a Dallas Morning News article. The summer research students and teachers participated in weekly departmental lunch seminars and presented their findings at the QuarkNet workshop.

Te QuarkNet program is organized by Dr. Simon Dalley and funded by the National Science Foundation. Other faculty mentors include Fred Olness, Rick Guarino, and Randy Scalise.

UND DVT Group Abstract

The DVT group wrote a new version of our hour-long theater show this summer, incorporating a new theme to the presentation (scale of the universe from our daily life down to the subatomic level). New models, scripting, and presentation text were created, edited, and organized into a performance, which we gave at the conclusion of the summer’s research period. Our student members this past summer were M. Allin and C. Ritenour, our teacher members were Ken Andert and Ed Fidler, and our QuarkNet staff member was Jeff Marchant.

2014 Annual Report - BHSU

Black Hills State University

2014 Annual Report


QuarkNet Center Name, number of years in the program

Black Hills State University, Year 6


List of faculty/staff/student participants including the role each played

Kara Keeter: BHSU Faculty, physics mentor

Jaret Heise: Science Director, Sanford Laboratory, physics mentor


Students who were not part of the BHSU QuarkNet program but who interacted with the high school teachers during the week they were here:

Kristin Rath: undergraduate student, Black Hills State University

Erik Belsaas: undergraduate student, Black Hills State University

Alexander Kramer: undergraduate student, Dakota State University


Description of the teacher participants

Chad Ronish, Hill City H.S., Hill City, SD – Lead Teacher (from Summer 2009)

Rose Emanuel, Lead-Deadwood H.S., Lead, SD (from Summer 2010)

LuAnn Lindskov, Timber Lake H.S., Timber Lake, SD (from Summer 2010)

Mechelle Powers, Custer Middle School, Custer, SD (from Summer 2010)

Steve Gabriel, Spearfish H.S., Spearfish, SD (from Summer 2011)

Deirdre Peck, Aberdeen Central H.S., Aberdeen, SD (from Summer 2012)

Doug Scribner, Newcastle H.S., Newcastle, WY (from Spring 2013)

James Stith, Newcastle H.S., Newcastle, WY (from Summer 2013)

Zach Beam, Newcastle H.S., Newcastle, WY (from Spring 2014)


Zach Beam is a new teacher, and is enthusiastic about joining the other Newcastle teachers in QuarkNet.  He is a recent BHSU graduate, and was a student of Keeter’s.

This summer Rose Emanuel left Lead-Deadwood and moved to Washington.  We will miss her energy and contagious excitement.  We hope her successor will join QuarkNet; in the meantime, Steve Gabriel is working with Sanford Underground Lab to deploy “Rose’s” CRMD onsite.


Description of the student participants

J. Ivy, Aberdeen Central H.S. (senior)

O. Smith, Spearfish H.S. (sophomore)

J. Wieland, Aberdeen Central H.S. (junior)


Activities for 2013/2014


LHC Masterclasses, 21 & 29 March 2014

The BHSU QuarkNet Center hosted two Masterclasses in March, 2014 at BHSU.

 March 21, 2014:

      Attended by students from Hill City (Teacher: Chad Ronish) and Newcastle, WY (Teacher: Zach Beam).

March 29, 2014:

      Attended by students from Spearfish (Teacher: Steve Gabriel), Timber Lake (Teacher: LuAnn Lindskov), and Aberdeen (Teacher: Deirdre Peck).


Summer Teacher Institute, 24-27 June 2014

Seven teachers attended the BHSU QuarkNet Summer Teacher Institute the week of June 24-27, 2014:

Zach Beam

Rose Emanuel

Steve Gabriel

LuAnn Lindskov

Chad Ronish

Doug Scribner

Jim Stith

Deirdre Peck was unable to attend due to a prior commitment to help with the Davis-Bahcall Scholars Program.  However, she did send her CRMD with the two students from Aberdeen (Jordan Ivy and John Wieland) who worked with her detector during the workshop.

Mechelle Powers was also unable to attend, but she sent her CRMD with Chad Ronish.


In all, six CRMDs were sent to the BHSU QuarkNet Center, and we had seven at the workshop. 


Advanced CRMD Workshop Agenda

June 24-26, 2014

•       QN & cosmic overview

•       setup CRMDs (everyone should bring their detectors!); trouble-shoot if needed

•       learn the new EQUIP java interface, and take data

•       recalibrate all the counters (including pressure

•       take data

•       review the CR e-Lab

•       upload data; learn the new blessing tools; bless any past data

•       design two classroom activities: shower? azimuth? Altitude?

•       short investigation & poster, if time permits


June 27, 2014

•       Above-ground and underground tour of Sanford Lab, including the Majorana Demonstrator and LUX detector at the Davis Campus, and the copper electroforming lab at the Ross Campus; lunch is served underground.


Virtual QuarkNet Teacher Workshop, 22-24 July 2014

This summer BHSU was privileged to host the 2014 summer meeting of the Virtual QuarkNet Center.  Eight teachers attended June 22-24, 2014:


Virtual QuarkNet Workshop Agenda

July 22, 2014

•       Cosmic rays and CRMDs, including the new EQUIP interface


July 23, 2014

•       Visit the Sanford Lab and learn all you ever wanted to know about neutrinos

•       Attend lecture and round-table discussion with CETUP* scientists


July 24, 2014

•       ILC tentative plans and simulated data


Summer Research Student Program, 9 June – 19 July 2014

For the second summer in a row, we were able to offer a six-week research program for high school students.  Three students participated: J. Ivy (Aberdeen, senior); O. Smith (Spearfish, sophomore), and J. Wieland (Aberdeen, junior).  Steve Gabriel was the mentor teacher.  Steve led the students in expansion and optimization of a system for remote control of underground environmental monitors. Their work involved computer programming to control the equipment and web page development to monitor the equipment and data.  Jordan Ivy, who was over 18 years old, was able to accompany Steve underground to deploy the instruments.

In addition, O. Smith and J. Wieland designed a feedback system for precisely controlling the temperature of a laser spectroscopy cell to be used in cavity ring-down studies for the DarkSide liquid argon dark matter detector in Gran Sasso, Italy.  J. Ivy searched the CRMD eLab database investigating possible correlations between extreme weather conditions and muon flux.

Along with their research, the students attended lectures and informal discussions on nuclear and particle astrophysics with Kara Keeter, Brianna Mount, and Jaret Heise.  They also attended several of the Davis-Bahcall and CETUP* lectures and events, including a round-table discussion with astrophysics theorists and experimentalists attending CETUP*.  The activities culminated with the students joining the CETUP* participants for an all-day excursion to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial which included lunch and a round-table discussion with scientists and Native American students at the Crazy Horse Memorial on July 19.

2014 Annual Report - UCR

The main activity of the University of California at Riverside QuarkNet center in 2014 was its particiaption in International Masterclasses. Approximately 30 students participated: 12 from San Jacinto  High School and 18 from Riverside Preparatory Academy.  UCR participated in the ATLAS Z measurement.  As usual, mentor Bill Gary and his colleagues were careful to teach the students to accept all lepton candidate events irrespective of whether they thought the dilepton system formed a good Z boson candidate or not. As a result. they successfully also found the J/Ψ and Upsilon mesons, as well as the simulated Z-prime resonance the ATLAS masterclass developers added in at ~1000 GeV. Also as usual, UCR had a CERN-moderated videoconference in spite of the tme difference. It was again a great success, as the students really enjoyed interacting with their peer high school students in Europe.

BHSU Abstract-Cosmic Ray and Weather Correlation Study

J. Ivy (Aberdeen Central High School)
Steve Gabriel (Spearfish High School) Dr. Kara Keeter (Black Hills State University)

The purpose of this study was to locate and isolate instances of coincidence between muon flux and major weather events over the last three to five years. We conducted this search by running flux studies on reliable cosmic ray data during the time of three major weather events. These events were the tornado outbreaks of May 2013, Hurricane Sandy, and the Black Hills blizzard of October 2013. For each of the events, we used the cosmic ray data of the Spearfish High School CRMD (Cosmic Ray Muon Detector), which has the most consistent data of any of the detectors, as a baseline. The outbreak event looked at data from the Spearfish, Arkansas City, KS, and the Fermilab detectors. On all three detectors there was an increase in flux during both periods of the outbreak, May 16-18th and 25-31st , and recorded a drop in events between the outbreaks. Because of the issue of also matching barometric pressure and the inconsistence of one of the detectors, we were not able to determine a correlation. The second event, Hurricane Sandy, looked mostly at a detector in Michigan. The muon flux in the data corresponded to fluctuations in barometric pressure, rising and falling at approximately the same rate. This also coincided with the landfall of Sandy. Due to the lack of data from other detectors, the Michigan one being the only one within 2,000+ miles, I was able to find coincidence, but correlation could not be determined. The Black Hills blizzard event focused on the flux data of the Spearfish detector, and a detector in the Lead-Deadwood area of South Dakota. There was no correlation in the data, and there were inconsistencies in the data that made determining any correlation nearly impossible without further investigation. Between all three of our studies, we could not find any correlation between the weather events and muon flux due to inconsistence of data, lack of other sources of data, and time constraint. At this time, further investigation would be required to confirm my findings or to find evidence of correlation. 


BHSU Abstract-Sanford Underground Research Facility Ventilation Using Distributive Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Flow Meters

J. Ivy (Aberdeen High School), J. Wieland (Aberdeen High School),

O. Smith (Spearfish High School) and Steve Gabriel (Spearfish High School)


The installation of the third flow meter at the 4850 level at the Sanford Underground Research Facility SURF on July 15, 2014, is an ongoing quest to see if multimode fiber optic cable can be used to monitor ventilation in a large underground structure.  This installation was carried out by QuarkNet Researchers.  The flow meters located and the 4850 level will provide real time environmental data to researchers and facility personnel that will assist in the day-to-day decision making that is done.


Environmental data being gathered consists of battery voltage, panel temperature, pressure wind velocity and direction and in the future the volume of air movement.


Eventually, data similar to the above table from multiple flow meters dispersed along the DTS fiber may provide correlation with Raman back scattering capabilities of DTS. 


More information can be found at: http://www.spearfish.k12.sd.us/~sgabriel/sgindex.html