Plasma Physics 2

Dark Matter

Quantum Computing in the 21st Century

Plasma Physics

Pentaquarks

Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and Climate

Rutgers 2016 Annual Report

Queensborough Community College QuarkNet Center 2016 Annual Report

 
In 2016 one high school teacher and five community college students worked with the QuarkNet detector and on building a Queensborough Community College (QCC) cosmic ray muon detector prototype.  The prototype was built from surplus scintillator obtained from Fermilab CDF, surplus photomultiplier tubes, and a leased QuarkNet DAQ board.
 
Leman Manhattan Preparatory School teacher
 
For 3 weeks in the summer of 2016 a high school physics teacher from the Leman Manhattan Preparatory School participated in the program at QCC as a QuarkNet lead teacher.  The QuarkNet counters were plateaued and performance and flux studies completed.  As part of the process to build counters the sensitivities to light at different wavelengths were evaluated for the QuarkNet PVT scintillator (peak emission 425nm), surplus CDF NE114 PVT scintillator (434nm), Sens-Tech photomultiplier tubes (PMT’s), 350-425nm, and Adit PMTs (375-425nm).  The performance of QuarkNet Sens-Tech and Adit PMT’s were measured: PMT voltage divider circuits were studied; a PMT testing apparatus consisting of different color LEDs driven by a pulse generator was used to test the PMTs;  a digital spectrometer was used to measure LED spectra and a laser power meter to measure LED output power.
 
QCC Students
 
In the spring semester a QCC engineering technology student was enrolled in and completed a physics research projects course (PH900).  A QuarkNet detector kit was built and the four counters plateaued and a flux study completed.  This student trained a new student to use the QuarkNet detector.  
 
In the spring semester a QCC computer technology student was enrolled in and completed a physics research projects course (PH900).  A QuarkNet detector kit was built.  A PMT testing setup was assembled consisting of an LED in an enclosure to keep out ambient light, a pulse generator to turn the LED light on and off, a power supply and an oscilloscope.  Two surplus PMTs obtained from the MARIACHI project at Brookhaven National Lab were tested.
 
In the summer semester a QCC computer science student worked on the cosmic ray project while enrolled in physics research projects course (PH900).  The four QuarkNet counters were plateaued and several flux and shower studies completed.  This student trained two new students to use the QuarkNet detector.  
 
Suffolk County Community College student
 
For 10 weeks in the summer an engineering student from the Suffolk County Community College worked on the cosmic ray project while in the summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at QCC.  Two PMTs were tested which included some correspondence with a scientist from the Electronics Detector Group at the Brookhaven National Lab.  A 1m x 0.3m cosmic ray counter was built out of PVT plastic and a PMT; the rough edges of the scintillator were sanded up to 2000 grit, the scintillator was wrapped with foil and black paper, mated it to a PMT and cosmic ray signals observed on an oscilloscope.  The counter was wired along with a second counter to a QuarkNet DAQ board to perform a coincidence study. 
 
Bergen County Community College  student
 
For 10 weeks in the summer a STEM student from the Bergen County Community College worked on the cosmic ray project while in the summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at QCC.  A 1m x 0.3m cosmic ray counter was built out of PVT plastic and a PMT; the student worked with the machinist at QCC to saw the rough edges of five PVT scintillator panels, sanded the edges up to 2000 grit, wrapped one of the scintillators with foil and black paper, mated it to a PMT and observed cosmic ray signals on an oscilloscope.    The counter was wired along with a second 1m long counter to a QuarkNet DAQ board to perform a coincidence study.  Additionally a list of parts needed to build a cosmic ray detector was made and the ordering process begun for silicone optical coupler pads, Novus liquid sanding grit, light sources to test PMTs and coaxial cable.  
 
QCC Faculty
 
The QCC Center's mentor managed the student and teacher projects mentioned above, wrote and submitted a QCC interdepartmental proposal for the use of a 40 foot by 20 foot laboratory room as a cosmic ray lab, and obtained 6 computers for the cosmic ray lab.  Working with QuarkNet staff five 1m long scintillator sheets from CDF surplus were obtained; 5 surplus PMTs were obtained for student projects to build detectors. 
 

University of Minnesota - 2016 Annual Report

Minnesota teachers at the NOvA far detector.

This year (2016), the University of Minnesota held its 13th annual QuarkNet teacher workshops. Mentors Daniel Cronin-Hennessy, Satish Desai and Ken Heller worked with lead teachers Jon Anderson and Shane Wood to organize this year's content. Minnesota HEP administrator Andrea Stronghart organized rooms, lunches, and paperwork. Eleven total teachers took part in at least a portion of the five workshop days this year. During the first three days (13-15 June), QuarkNet cosmic fellow Martin Shaffer led a cosmic workshop; the final two workshop days (3-4 August) consisted of talks about and tours of the NOvA far detector near Ash River, Minnesota. 

The 2016 cosmic workshop was hosted by Minnesota QuarkNet teacher Karen Phillips at the Blake School in Minneapolis where she is a physics teacher. On day one of this workshop, participating teachers assembled a new cosmic ray muon detector (CRMD), heard a lunch talk by U of M researcher Gwynne Crowder on the recent gravitational wave discoveries at LIGO, pleateaued and set up a total of 4 CRMDs for overnight data collection. On day two, teachers worked with Equip and the cosmic e-Lab, conducted performance studies of the data, and worked in small groups in order to conduct a more in-depth investigation with the CRMDs. Data continued to be collected overnight on the second night, then on the third day, groups finished analysis and presented to each other their results during a poster session. The cosmic workshop concluded with a discussion around classroom implementation.

Teachers met again in August for a 2-day workshop centered around PER (physics education research), and the neutrino experiment NOvA. Day one of this workshop (3 August) started at the U of M where teachers heard from three teachers and their summer QuarkNet travels/experiences: Mike Cartwright (ISE in Greece) and from Jay Dornfeld and Michael Plucinski who both attended Data Camp at Fermilab. Ken Heller gave a talk that described the NOvA experiment and prepared teachers for the tour. Ken also gave a talk about problem solving in physics; something on which his PER group has been working for years. Teachers spent the second portion the first day traveling to near Ash River, MN. On day two (4 August) teachers met at the NOvA far detector where Ken Heller gave a tour of the facility while teachers asked many questions. Teachers then traveled back to Minneapolis during the final portion of these two days. 

  

 

Quarknet at U. C. Riverside, Annual Report for 2016

P.I.s: Robert Clare, Owen Long

CMS e-lab Workshop: We held a 2-day QuarkNet CMS e-lab Workshop at UCR on July 14 and 15, 2016 with two teachers participating as well as a QuarkNet Leadership Fellow (Robert Baker). Shane Wood from QuarkNet used the opportunity to try out a new version of the CMS e-lab software, and the teachers benefited greatly from this. A lot of feedback was provided to Shane over the two days. 

Day one of the 2-day workshop started with the opportunity for teachers to chat and ask the mentors LHC-related questions, followed by working through two activities from QuarkNet's data portfolio: Mass of the Z and CMS Data Express. Teachers were introduced to both the original CMS e-Lab site, along with the new site under development. Day two of this workshop began with time for the teachers to work on particular investigation in the e-Lab and build an accompanying online poster. While working, the teachers noted problems with the e-Lab and aspects they appreciated; both helpful in making the new site more useful and user-friendly. The teachers presented their poster upon completion of their investigation, then discussed classroom implementation.