2015 Annual Report: The University of Iowa

Principal Investigator:

    Dr. Yasar Onel

Associate Professors:

    Dr. Jane Nachman



Dr. Burak Bilki, Dr. James Wetzel


Peter G. Bruecken, Michael Grannen and Moira Truesdell


Nick Arevelo, William Fawcett,  Andrew Haffarnan, Bridget Quesnell, Sam Snow and Archie Weindruch

During the summer of 2015, The University of Iowa involved six students from Bettendorf High School and 3 teachers in research activities.  The work was directed by our Principal investigator, Dr. Yasar Onel and mentored by three of the teachers, Peter Bruecken, Michael Grannen and Moira Truesdell.  The summer activities focused two projects:  Preparing scintillating plates for CERN test beam and building 100 models of CMS.  These projects were extensions from the 2014 summer work.

Activity 1: Scintillating plates:

After a successful summer of 2014, the team continued work by refining our procedure and using a more standard test plate.  The work involved preparing 5 test plates for a beam at CERN.  Unlike last year, we used a different configuration of test plate to get more comparable results.  The tests last year proved promising but needed to be refined further for comparison.  The group prepared 5 plates for the beam and sent them to CERN for testing.

Activity 2: Building a demonstration model of CMS:

After our 2014 contribution to creating a 3D-printed model of CMS, an order for 100 copies of said model were ordered.  Our group worked on printing and constructing the models for delivery.  They also refined the mobile application, which would simulate a collision on a mobile application while observing the actual model.  The application focused on using a cosmic ray to activate a simulation of a collision at CERN.  The students produced

Three of the students aided a graduate student in executing his grant to build a demonstration model of The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at CERN.  The students drew parts in a proprietary program for a 3D printer, programmed Arduino® controller boards and helped design the assembly of the printer.  The task consisted of making a 1/160 scale drawing of each functional part of CMS and printing the separate parts on the 3D printer.  The students then programmed the controller boards to simulate, using lights, the particle interactions in the model when a cosmic ray triggered an event.  The students programmed a Silicon Photomultiplier board to sense the presence of a cosmic ray and trigger a string of interactions in the model.  Later, an app for mobile devices would enhance the event for observers of the model.  The students drew and printed many parts for the demonstration as well as programmed some of the light boards for the model.

Groups audience: 


CMS Detectors