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