Friday Flyer - February 7, 2020
Spotlight on the "Virginia Group" QuarkNet Center
The "Virginia Group" is the center that includes Hampton University, the College of William and Mary, and George Mason University. (Virginia Tech is the other QuarkNet center in the Commonwealth.) The Virginia Group was once again very active in the past year, with a MINERvA masterclass at George Mason University, a CMS masterclass at William and Mary, Saturday center meetings in Northern Virginia and the Richmond area, and a workshop at William and Mary. Marla Glover came to William and Mary last summer to facilitate a CMS data workshop; this was part of the extensive testing and tweaking of the new version of the CMS masterclass. Also, the group's lead teachers have active roles in QuarkNet National. Mike Fetsko, an LHC fellow, is a leader in the annual J/Psi masterclass; more on that below. Deborah Roudebush is the QuarkNet instructional design consultant. The Virginia Group often pilots new activities, a role they have taken on with enthusiasm.
News from QuarkNet Central
Perimeter Institute in Ontario offers some great opportunities for teachers. Check them out.
The latest IMC circular is out today with a focus on ways to learn more about the measurements online: Question Time and Webcasts. Since the CMS measurement is new this year, any center or institute planning a CMS masterclass needs at least an orientation update. There is also a CMS masterclass webcast on Thursday, February 20, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. U.S. Central Time. Register for it! And check out the CMS masterclass documentation as well!
If your group is not yet registered for International Masterclasses, please contact Ken as soon as possible. Check the videoconference schedule.
There are also independent masterclasses, not directly part of the IMC schedule, but still great. One of the longest running has been organized by LHC fellows Mike Fetsko, Mike Wadness, and Shane Wood. They held a CMS J/Psi path masterclass this year with students at Medford High School in Massachusetts, Mills Godwin High School in Virginia, a school in Vancouver and another in Barcelona. The latter two were introduced and welcomed into the program by Mike Fetsko, who met the teachers at CERN International Teacher Weeks last August. Read more about it!
Physics Experiment Roundup
MICE is the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment at Rutherford-Appleton Labs in the U.K., and it has really made the news in the past week. As the name suggests, MICE studies the ionization cooling of muons, which is a technique to narrow and help focus a beam of muons. And they have just gotten great results, as reported in Nature and explained further in symmetry. This makes the dream of a circular muon collider—which combines the precision of its electron version and the low-energy losses of a machine like LHC—much closer to reality.
Meanwhile, Fermilab keeps its own cool, as the seach for dark matter continues.
One person's background is another person's signal, or so we intone daily in the corridors of the Friday Flyer. Well, symmetry is here to help make sense with the background on background—what it is and why scientists need to care so much. Over at APS Physics, we can get the background on understanding matter-antimatter asymmetry via gravitational waves.
Just for Fun
Speaking of cooling (look above to the Roundup!), it would take a lot of cryogen to match how cool this way of solving a quadratic is, as reported by the New York Times. And the basic idea was known to the Babylonians! (Quadratic equations combined with ancient civilizations is what we at FF call fun.) And IMYMI (If Maybe You Missed It), the BBC tells us that February 2 was Palindrome Day. You know, 02-02-2020. If you feel BBPDDPBB (Blue Because Palindrome Day Darn Pretty Blew By), there is always December 02, next year.