BHSU Abstract-Temperature Control System for CRDS Laser Spectroscopy Cell

O. Smith (Spearfish High School), J. Weiland (Aberdeen High School)

Steven Gabriel (Spearfish High School)

Dr. Kara Keeter (Black Hills State University)


The purpose of our research was to create a device to control the temperature of the Tiger Optics cell in the Black Hills State University laser spectroscopy lab. Lab assistants requested a device that would offer temperature control up to ± .1ºC. The system was showing huge variations in data as the temperature rose and fell; the metal on the devices was expanding marginally as the temperature in the room rose fractions of a degree, which threw off the readings. One could look at their data and see when a person walked in the room. Clearly the cell was very sensitive.

Upon viewing the setup of the cell, which was bolted to a table along with the laser, mirrors, AOM, and detector, our first impression was to create an insulated container to put it all in. The other option was building a temperature containment chamber around just the cell, however we chose not to do so as we thought the extra glass pane would distort the laser excessively. Then, we began researching ways to contain temperature and maintain it. There were a variety of ways to do so, including insulation, heating, and cooling. We looked at many forms of each: water jackets, vacuum chambers, and space drapes as insulation, Tenny chambers, chilled beam cooling, heat lamps, and heat sinks. There were various pros and cons to all of these, one of the most influential being expense. Clearly, a large Tenny or vacuum chamber was out of the question, however, there was a possibility we could combine them into an effective device. Then, we stumbled across a scientific article entitled Design and Capabilities of the Temperature Control System for the Italian Experiment Based on Precision Laser Spectroscopy for a New Determination of the Boltzmann Constant (A. Merlone, F. Moro, A. Castrillo, L. Gianfrani). The paper described how to create an isothermal cell with phenomenal stability; the temperature could be maintained to within ± .1º mK. This was much, much more precise than we needed; however, the paper offered valuable information.

We were able to draft our first design soon after. It was a large vacuum chamber (120 cm by 50 cm) kept at a rough vacuum (20 torr) with the laser setup inside on a bolt-plate. Underneath the experiment but within the vacuum there were tubes that would be pumped full of chilled water and anti-freeze (We were aiming for a temperature of about 20º F as the photodiode in the detector works better under cold conditions.) We looked at a variety of other refrigerants such as CO2 , ammonia, liquid nitrogen, and some R11 mixtures, but the simplest and cheapest way to go was with water. There was also the possibility of using water vapor and compression to cool the system, which is a very efficient form of refrigeration; however, water’s high specific volume would be plain unwieldy (New, Natural and Alternative Refrigerants. Dr. S F Pearson). We decided we should just avoid the change of state and chill the liquid water. The cooled system would maintain a generally constant temperature; the more precise temperatures would be maintained using thermistors and a feedback loop (explained later).

The shape of the vacuum chamber was eventually made to be a cross section of an octagon (an irregular hexagon) with vacuum ports on the sides where the chords would enter and exit from. Originally, it was dome-shaped; the creases in the metal were added for stability later. The top would be removable, but the sides would be attached to the base so as not to disrupt the chords when editing the setup. (There is an illustration of the earliest model we had designed, back when it was a dome instead of a hexagon and the detector was also being kept at a steady temperature. Of course, things have changed since this was drawn. Drawn by John Weiland in MS Paint.) We had three options when it came to metal: steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The consensus was aluminum because it was cheaper than stainless steel, easier to work with than stainless steel, lightweight unlike steel of any kind, and does not corrode or rust like regular steel. Also, aluminum is not magnetic at all, whereas steel is residually magnetic. The metal’s gage would be about 12.

At this point in our research, we still wanted to create a massive vacuum chamber. After talking to Dr. Brianna Mount, the leader of the spectroscopy project, we began to question that decision. It was unwieldy to create such a large chamber just for temperature containment when what we were really targeting was the cell. (The detector’s issue with Johnson noise was deemed irrelevant, as long as it was lower than that of the cell.) So, with the help of Dr. Mount and Dr. Keeter, we began revising our plan.

As of now, the new plan is not completely finished; we still do not know what method would be best for insulating the cell from the outside environment, however, we have worked to create a functional feedback loop. The feedback loop is created using a thermistor, a TEC, and a heating element. Our target temperature is 30 ºC (as it is much easier to heat than cool, and we have pretty much abandoned the idea, and so it would be best to use a 50KΩ thermistor. It is an NTC thermistor (Negative Temperature Coefficient) in which the resistance decreases as the temperature outside increases. The thermistor will be attached to the surface of the cell. The feedback loop will be moderated by the MPT2500 TEC from Wavelength Electronics; when the temperature goes below 30º, the TEC will turn on the heating element. Polyimide Thermofoil Heaters act as the heating element; they are thin and flexible devices from Minco.

Future plans include some type of insulation for the cell so that its heat is kept even more stable and possibly some form of temperature control for the detector. The system has not been tested yet, however, it will hopefully be implemented. This temperature control system will eliminate the variations in data caused by temperature fluxuations which would mean a great deal to the laser spectroscopy experiment and to the greater project at DarkSide. 

UND CMS Data Group Abstract

The CMS Data Group analyzed 2000 dimuon events, 500,000 top candidate events and 500,000 simulated top background events during the summer of 2014. The dimuon events were analyzed with Matlab. The top events were analyzed with C++ and ROOT. The student members of the CMS Data Group were N. Bhagat, P. Evans and L. Swartzendruber. The teacher members of the CMS Data Group were Jill Ziegler, Daniela Gayoso and Patrick Mooney.

2014 Annual Report - Oklahoma

QuarkNet 2014 gave some Oklahoma high school science teachers an inside look at the world of particle physics and some of the amazing research being done at OSU and OU.  The program included lectures, hands-on activities, and lab tours.  This year we also had the special treat of Ken Cecire visiting to lend a helping hand.  
The teachers learned about a range of topics in high energy physics in the lectures on Monday and Tuesday, including:
  • an overview of the experimental high energy physics program
  • an introduction to the Higgs boson and how it was discovered
  • an introduction to Symmersymmetry
  • neutrinos and their crazy ways.
Monday and Tuesday also featured tours of some of the experimental physics labs at OSU, including a laser lab, radiation lab, and biophysics lab.  The teachers got their hands dirty on Thursday and Friday, looking at data from the ATLAS experiment and trying to identify various praticles produced in the collisions. 
On Wednesday teachers traveled to OU where they were give a tour of physics labs and introduced to the research done at OU.  IN addition, we had a tour of the history of science museum where we saw original first-edition books from Newton, Galileo, and Darwin.    

2014 Annual Report - Rutgers University

This report summarizes the Rutgers QuarkNet Workshop held from July 7 to July 18. Professors Amit Lath, Eva Halkiadakis, Yuri Gershtein and Steve Schnetzer of the Rutgers high energy particle physics group hosted the session. It was attended by twenty students and four high school teachers from New Jersey.


The workshop consisted of multiple activities for the students that kept all of them interested and engaged. There were six three-­‐hour sessions organized by Prof. Lath and Halkiadakis in which the students learned to analyze actual data from CMS, calculate invariant masses and use Root to discover the Z boson by its di-­‐muon mass peak and the Higgs boson by its di-­‐photon mass peak. In these sessions, the students worked in groups of three to four.

There were also four three-­‐hour sessions in which the students used

QuarkNet supplied cosmic ray detectors to measure the muon lifetime and the speed of cosmic ray muons and thereby demonstrate relativistic time dilation. In these sessions the students also worked in groups of three to four. Prof. Schnetzer gave a set of four presentations on relativity to the group of rapt students (see photo above). The students spent a day learning about the 20 MeV Cyclotron in the Rutgers senior lab from Prof. Tim Koeth of the University of Maryland and were able to operate the cyclotron and conduct some simple experiments with the beam. There were a series of lunch time talks giving by various Rutgers faculty covering astrophysics and cosmology, condensed matter physics, neutrino oscillations and LHC physics. One of the teachers, Daniel Kaplan, told the students about work that he had done in Rutherford Back Scattering. The students visited the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and also toured the state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art Rutgers Surface Science Lab. At the end of the workshop, each group of three to four students gave a ten minute      presentation on some aspect of what they had learned during the workshop. On the last day of the workshop, we had a showing of the movie Particle Fever and, of course, pizza.

Everyone involved in the workshop (teachers, students and mentors) considered it to be a great success. The students appreciated learning how to use the actual tools used by researchers and received an in-­‐depth look at what physics research is really about.

2014 Annual Report - UPRM

The UPRM group met for three small workshops in the 2014 QuarkNet year. The first of these was October 19-20, 2013, when they worked with cosmic ray detectors and the e-Lab. QuarkNet staff member Kenneth Cecire helped to facilitate and also visited two schools. Problems were found with the detectors and these are scheduled to be returned to Fermilab for repair. They held a workshop for Masterclass Orientation on March 15, 2014 and then had a successful CMS Masterclass and videoconference on April 5. Mentor Hector Mendez facilitated along with visiting particle physicist Sudhir Malik from Fermilab; QuarkNet teacher Daniel Gutierrez gave a presentation to the students on CMS data analysis.

The UPRM QuarkNet group continues to be large and enthusiastic with interest from teachers across the island. In summer 2014, Sudahir Malik joined the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez  Department of Physics and became a mentor for the QuarkNet center along with Hector Mendez. 

UPRM participating in the 2014 Masterclass videoconference
with Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador,
Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and Fermilab.
The combined results of the three groups
can be seen at the top. The University of
Puerto Rico masterclass institute can be seen at
the lower left, marked "RUM" (Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez).

2014 Annual Report - Colorado State

Faculty mentors: Dr. Norm Buchanan, Assistant Professor and Dr. Walter Toki, Professor, Physics Department, Colorado State University
Lead teachers: Cherie Bornhorst, Science Teacher, Loveland High School; and Adam Pearlstein, Teacher in Residence, Colorado State University

The Colorado State Quarknet Center is now in its 3rd year. In the first two years of our program, we focused solely on cosmic ray research, and deployed 4 detectors at high schools on the Front Range. The focus for the FY 2014 was to expand our program; both in membership of teachers, and to include other aspects of high energy physics.

Quarknet@CSU Workshop
A four day workshop was held at CSU on August 4-7, 2014, in the Little Shop of Physics workshop space. The workshop was divided into two portions; the first two days being a workshop lead by CMS Fellow, Shane Wood from the University of Minnesota QN Center, and the following two days was time for teachers to build off our previous developments in cosmic ray data and research, lead by Cosmic Fellow, Robert Franckowiak from the Idaho State University QN Center.

The CMS Workshop was very well received by the teachers, who enjoyed the hands-on experiments and data that are easily implemented into a high school Physics curriculum. The workshop trained our teachers in analyzing real CMS data, compiling data to create histograms, and using the data to discover the mass of the Z boson. Through the activities, teachers were introduced to the Standard Model, the significance of the Higgs Boson, and the current research at the LHC. Mentor, Dr. Norm Buchanan, gave a talk on the physics of the ATLAS and CMS experiments. The two day CMS workshop concluded with a virtual visit with scientists at the CMS experiment at CERN. Teachers had the opportunity to ask questions about the experiment and also got an underground tour of the experiment.

The final two days of the workshop was dedicated time for the teachers to continue learning more about cosmic rays and the CRMD’s in their classrooms. Teachers took data with the cosmic ray detectors, using the new Java-based program, EQUIP, which allows teachers a real-time look at muon counts on each channel during data collection, as well as an ease of user interface. Teachers had time to review the steps necessary to collect data that is “blessed”, and therefore open-source data once uploaded to the Cosmic Ray eLab. The detectors are currently with teachers at 4 Colorado high schools, namely: Loveland High School, Castleview High School, Greeley West High School, and Rangeview High School.

Teachers participating in the summer workshop:
Cherie Bornhorst, Loveland High School
Adam Pearlstein, Colorado State University
Roger Felch, Castleview High School
Chris Nichols, Castleview High School
Brandy Bourdeaux, Rangeview High School
Zach Armstrong, Greeley West High School

Participation in High School Teachers Program @ CERN 2014
Lead Teacher, Cherie Bornhorst, was one of five teachers from the United States chosen to participate in the HST 2014 Programme at CERN. The program was held July 6-26th, 2014 and was an intensive series of lectures, presentations, tours, and working in focused project groups with 50 other teachers from around the world. Cherie is excited to bring her knowledge and skills acquired at CERN back to her classroom, and the Colorado State University QuarkNet teacher group.

NIU Summer Student Research Abstract 2-2014

Student: L. Hsiung

Mentor: Michael Eads

Internship dates: July 7, 2014 – August 14, 2014


Abstract: L. Hsiung conducted research related to the new muon g-2 experiment currently being designed and constructed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. His main focus was on the analysis of data obtained in a test beam effort for a straw tube tracking system for the experiment. The first part of his experience was spent learning some of the software tools, including C++, linux, the ROOT analysis framework, and some preliminary software (written by collaborators) to analyze the test beam data. His focus was on understanding the data from multi-wire proportional chambers (MWPCs), which are used to track the test beam particles. Using a simple event display for this data and a Hough Transform algorithm for track finding, he was able to optimize some of the parameters of the track finding algorithm. In addition to this software work, he also assisted with testing seal prototypes for the straw tube tracker modules. This clean room work involved assembling a vacuum chamber and measuring the leak rate of an O-ring seal. Unfortunately, he was not able to complete this work before the end of his internship since the wrong size O-rings were ordered from the manufacturer. 

NIU Summer Student Research Abstract 1-2014

Student: R. Garg

Mentor: Michael Eads

Internship dates: June 23, 2014 – August 8, 2014


Abstract: R. Garg conducted a software project related to the new muon g-2 experiment currently being designed and constructed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The first part of her internship experience was spent learning about the software tools used in the experiment (C++, ROOT, Git, linux, etc…) and becoming familiar with the simulation software framework. During this time, she also assisted with installation tasks for the muon g-2 experiment’s magnetic storage ring, which was being reassembled over the summer. The culmination of her internship experience was an acceptance study using the simulation software. The design for a straw tube tracking system for the experiment is currently being finalized and the final location of the individual straw tube modules needs to be optimized. She was able to use her software knowledge and (working with other students and scientists on the experiment) was able to generate a large number of simulated events for several different possible straw tube module placement options. Unfortunately, Her internship time ended just as this simulated data was becoming available. However, the data she produced was then used to finalize the straw tube module placement. 


2014 Annual Report - SUNY at Buffalo

SUNY at Buffalo (UB) has joined QuarkNet in early 2006. Mentors of the group are UB experimental High Energy Physicists, Prof. Ia Iashvili and Prof. Avto Kharchilava. UB Experimental HEP group has sponsored its 8th annual QuarkNet Summer Workshop in Buffalo during August 19-21. This year we had 7 teachers taking part in the Workshop: two lead teachers (David McClary and Larry Hiller) who have been with the center since the beginning, and five participating teachers. Three out of these are new teachers (two female and one male), who have joined UB QuarkNet this year. The teachers are  from 6 different schools,  5 of which are  public schools and 1 is a private school. 

The workshop had the following format. The first day was dedicated to general presentations on particle physics. These were aimed, particularly, at new teachers. The second day, we presented and discussed the latest Higgs results from CMS. Both days, the teachers exchanged ideas about how to incorporate HEP topics in their classroom instructions.  They also took data using cosmic muon detector at Physics Department Cosmic lab.  Finally, on day three, tour more experienced teachers discussed cosmic e-lab features. We then exchanged the ideas on how to improve Masterclass preparations for students.

Earlier this year, on March 15, UB Quarknet center participated in the CMS Masterclass. Four students from two high schools were divided into two groups to analyze Z®ee, Z®mumu, W®enu and W®munu events using CMS event display. Different groups analyzed different batches of data, and compared their findings. At the end of the data analyses session, students combined their data to measure relative fraction of Z events compared to W events, ratio of W+ over W-,  and to check lepton universality. They have also created distributions of various quantities. Students, also “discovered” low mass resonances, J/Y and ¡. Finally, the students shared their findings and participated in discussions over Vidyo with other participating Masterclass groups  (Boston and Detroit) also presenting their results. Students found Masterclass experience useful and informative about HEP as a whole and about the collaborative nature of the HEP experimental research.


Mentors: Ia Iashvili, Avto Kharchilava

2014 Annual Report - Purdue Summer Workshop

This summer, Purdue hosted five teachers from Central Indiana for four days, followed by a tour of Fermilab.   Almost all the teachers this year were new to QuarkNet so the workshop emphasized a basic introduction to fundamental particle physics, particle accelerators and cosmic ray physics.   The cosmic ray detectors were used to study coincidence rates under various conditions and these rates were compared with the rate that would have been expected from purely random coincidences in independent counters.  In this way the participants were able to deduce the presence of both cosmic rays and extended air showers and to measure the speed of cosmic rays.  This year, data was collected using both the software interface originally developed at Purdue and the version on which development has continued at Fermilab.  We also went through the CMS MasterClass exercises to illustrate the activities their students would undertake in Spring 2015.  This year, we were fortunate to be visited by Nate Unterman, a QuarkNet fellow from the UIC group who observed the use of the two software interfaces and presented the activities his students have undertaken with the cosmic ray detector at his school.  We were also visited by Prof. Neeti  Parashar from the Calumet campus of Purdue University, who is starting a new QuarkNet center there.  On Friday, the group toured the D0 detector and the MINOS detector at Fermilab.