2021 JHU Workshop Agenda & List of Talks

(click "read more" to see entire page)

Click one of these links to install LoggerPro on your laptop: Windows and MacOS >10.13)

Zoom meeting room: 674 315 3476  with password 5eHRRJ


Mon 26 July

9:00-9:10 - Jeremy Smith, BCPS

Welcome, schedule for week, brief summary of afternoon work

9:10-10:00 - Dr. Morris Swartz, JHU

"Neutrino Oscillations" - slides (PDF - opens in new window)

Mixing Matrices


Super Kamiokande detector

From James Rittner: a Dr. Suess-inspired explanation of neutrinos

For fans of 90s hip-hop: a YouTube video showing Chris Marshall, the winner of the ICHEP physics slam, reimagining "Regulate" by Warren G


10:00-10:30 - Breakfast/coffee break


10:30-11:40 - Dr. Petar Maksimovic, JHU

"How We Discover Things" slides (PDF - opens in new window))

Color tube stretching
Feynman Diagram for quark scattering




Lunch 11:45-12:45


Monday Afternoon, 12:45pm-4pm

Topic: Particle Physics in the classroom

Activities: Various new activities from the quarknet "Data Activities Portfolio"

Moderators: Jeremy Smith, Kevin Martz


  • 1pm-1:50pm - Explore at least 3 activities in "level 0" category of the Quarknet Data Activities Portfolio
    • Suggested new activities as of 2019ish: Mapping the Poles, Signal & Noise I, Making Tracks I, Histograms I, Step-Up I
  • 1:50pm-2:40pm - Explore at least 2 activities in "level 1" with Particle Transformations as a required activity.
    • Other new activities: Signal & Noise II, Hidden Neutrino, What Heiseberg Knew, Step-Up II, Making Tracks II, and several others
  • 2:40pm-3:30pm - Conduct the level 2 CMS Data Express activity in its entirety
    •  This is an excellent activity to conduct with students prior to a WZH masterclass event!
  • 3:30pm-4pm - Discuss activities while wearing our "teacher hats"
    • Where could these fit?
    • What would you adapt? (Write comments on the activity web pages!!)
    • Who else in your building could use these?
    • What could be improved?


Tue 27 July


9:10-10:00 - Dr. Andrei Gritsan, JHU

"Understanding the Emptiness: The Higgs Field & Beyond" (slides


Higgs Field, from Matt Strassler's blog
High luminosity!



10:00-10:30 - Breakfast/coffee break


10:45-11:45 - Dr. Surjeet Rajendran, JHU

"Exploring Gravitational Waves at Various Scales" slides (PDF - opens in new window)

Extra, from NYTimes via Prasad Gerard: Jocelyn Bell's pulsar discovery

(another entry in the male/female and advisor/grad student credit debates!) 





Tuesday Afternoon, 1pm-4pm

Topic: Spectroscopy 

Activity: Several demos and experiments using slits & gratings to observe and measure spectra from various light sources

Moderators: Dr. Steve Wonnell, Jeremy Smith 

Here is a link to the lab instructions for the afternoon, which also includes links for most of the equipment used, to assist with pricing and purchasing.







Wed 28 July

9:00-10:00 - Dr. Lucas Macri, Texas A&M 

"The SH0ES experiment and the expanding universe"

Slides in PDF. PDF kills animations so here is the New Horizons parallax GIF of Proxima Centauri)


10:00-10:30 - Breakfast/coffee break


10:30-12 - Dr. Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers

"NGSS-friendly teaching frameworks" 

Slides in PDF. Go to https://www.islephysics.net/index.php to learn more about the ISLE project.

Some have asked for Dr. Etkina's paper on teaching astrophysics in high school. Here is a link





Wednesday Afternoon, 1pm-4pm

Topic: Expanding Universe

Activity: Developing Hubble's Law using emission spectra from young spiral galaxies

Moderator: Dr. Marianne Vanier

Updated 16 August: Here are the revised Hubble Law activity documents (student pages and teacher pages) which reflect the comments and feedback from the group.

Just for fun: QuarkNet teacher Jim Deane participated in the 2021 Coding Camp, and wrote a Jupyter Notebook (using Google Colab) that allows students to write code for plotting Hubble's Law using a much larger dataset. Take a look here!

E. Hubble's Original Plot










Thu 29 July

9:00-10:00 - Dr. Joseph Eimer 

"Reintroduction to the Cosmic Microwave Background"

Universe Evolution
CLASS telescopes, Atacama Desert




Extras: The PhysicsGirl YouTube channel has a great video on Inflation and cosmological flatness; the Minute Physics channel explains that the "Big Bang" is more appropriately named  the "Everywhere Stretch" with some additional musings on science and religion.



10:30-12 -  Dr. Chuck Bennett

Cosmology Q&A

CMB from COBE Telescope
CMB from Planck Telescope
CMB from WMAP telescope






Thursday Afternoon, 1pm-4pm

Topic: Blackbody Radiation & the CMB

Activities: Developing Wien's Law using PhET simulation; Explaining the CMB using concepts from blackbody, redshift, expansion

Moderators: Kevin Martz, Jeremy Smith

Here is the latest draft of the Blackbody/CMB activities (student pages and teacher pages). Updated 16 August based on feedback.

The Famous COBE Measurement


Fri 30 July

9:00-9:30 - Jeremy Smith

"Energy Levels in the Bohr Model"


9:30-10:00 - Dr. Marc Kamionkowski



10:30-?? - Dr. Nima Arkani-Hamed

"Highschool Physics of Order and Chaos, Darkness and Light"




Friday Afternoon, 1pm-3pm

(also: Quarknet Paperwork and updates)

Topic: Additional Cosmology Activities for High School

Activity: Structured Brainstorming

Moderators: Dr. Toby Marriage, Jeremy Smith

Click here to see the PDF that Toby handed out during the session, asking for feedback and suggestions.

Two surveys to complete: one for Kevin and Morris and me to react to, and one that is required for the Quarknet program

1.  If a teacher completed the 2019/2020 Full Teacher Survey, then complete the UPDATE: 2021 Teacher Survey (once during 2021).  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J7DTWMR Plan for ~6 minutes here.

2. Please make comments and suggestions for planning next year's 2022 workshop - click here for the Google form (it is anonymous).