Friday Flyer - March 20, 2020


Spotlight on Teaching Physics in a Pandemic

Physics teachers are turning to online tools and distance learning to reach their students as school buildings have closed, and we are all staying home as much as possible. QuarkNet responds:

  • Resouces in the crisis. On Tuesday, we put up a new document, Resources for Teaching Physics Online, to help. Since then we have added more content, including data-based resources on the pandemic and "hat-tips" to some of the people who contributed links and ideas. We'll keep improving it. Thank you to those who have sent ideas and support; please keep them coming!
  • Communication online. It is a key, so we have made five Zoom channels from Notre Dame available at QuarkNet Zoom Channels for Videoconferencing. These are open to use for teachers to communicate with students or each other.
  • BAM! You may know that CIMA was experiencing growing pains before IMC 2020 was closed. We've made some fixes we'd like to test. And you may just want a worthwhile project in which students can dig into LHC data at home. Let's address both; test CIMA and give students a masterclass-like experience at home. To do this, we are building an online simplified version of the CMS masterclass, focused on muons; we call it the Big Analysis of Muons (BAM). If you would like for all or some of your students to participate, fill out this Google form. Look for a gusher of information early next week.
  • Data Activities going remote. We have great activities in the QuarkNet Data Activities Portfolio, many of which can be done online as is or converted to online use. For example, Making it 'Round the Bend (Qualitative or Quantitative version) uses animations made by Jeff Rodriguez that make much of it useful at home. Jeremy Wegner is using Calculating the Z Mass online and has posted a comment about how he is doing it. If you are using a data activity remotely with your students, please log into the QuarkNet site and post a comment at the bottom of the activity page. Want to learn more about Data Activities? Check out this screencast. Can't log in? Not sure what how to post a comment? Contact Ken or Shane. 
  • You are the answer. Send your ideas and let us know what you need. We'll keep you posted on developments. And thank you for all you are doing.


What to do with the kids at home? How about Build Your Own Particle Detector?



News from QuarkNet Central

See the Spotlight above. But there is more:

As you may have seen in the special circular, International Masterclasses 2020 videoconferences were canceled from last Wednesday on. A few masterclasses may go ahead online and others may be made up later. IMC Central Coordination is studying whether make-up videoconferences will be possible this academic year.

Mentors and teachers at each QuarkNet center will decide whether and how they can meet this summer. The funding letters have mostly been sent and that is in place. If your center needs to change plans, postpone the workshop, or move it online, let Spencer, Shane, or Ken know. We can work it out.

And lastly, there is still time for teams to put together proposals for Beamline for Schools (BL4S). It has not been postponed or canceled! It closes March 31, though! Check out the BL4S notice from CERN on Twitter.



Physics Experiment Roundup

Fermi News tells us of some real advances in particle physics investigation. Advancing accelerator technology, three different U.S. national laboratories are achieving record magnetic fields for focusing beams. Using accelerator technology, in particular superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities, Fermilab has initiated the Dark SRF experiment to search for dark photons; that is, the dark matter analogue to the photon. Speaking of using particle physics tech, APS Physics explains using neutrino detectors for national security. Meanwhile, we learn in Physics Today about how astronomers may have discovered a case of colliding white dwarfs




Let's continue themes from the Physics Experiment Roundup. Fermi News tells us more about magnets in particle accelerators and our own Marge Bardeen has pointed us to Frederick Reines' Nobel Prize talk on neutrinos. Staying historic, we can read a Q&A on Nikola Tesla in Physics Today. We even have the astro-mixed-with-particle notes playing with this APS Physics article about gravitons and gravitational waves. Finishing this segment with the current crisis, we look in Quanta at mathematics and epidemiology.



Just for Fun

Well, there is this video about teaching online

We can count on XKCD to give us a few odd takes on the coronavirus crisis, like this and this. And this one gives us a break from all that.



QuarkNet Staff:

Mark Adams: [email protected]  
Ken Cecire: [email protected]
Spencer Pasero: [email protected] 
Shane Wood: [email protected] 

Additional Contacts