Friday Flyer - September 13, 2019
This is the first Friday Flyer of the 2019–2020 school year. Welcome back!!
Spotlight on Summer 2019
As we begin the new academic year, we take a moment to look back on the summer, a busy time for QuarkNet. Most centers hold meetings each summer for their members; a time for mentors and teachers to gather, network, learn about particle physics, and work together to implement new classroom ideas and strategies. This summer, centers hosted nearly 20 QuarkNet national workshops facilitated by QuarkNet staff or fellows that focused on LHC, neutrino, or cosmic data. In July, 24 QuarkNet teachers from around the country attended Data Camp at Fermilab, a weeklong experience facilitated by QuarkNet's Teaching and Learning Fellows. Just prior to the AAPT Summer Meeting in Provo, Utah, nine QuarkNet teachers and staff attended training to become ambassadors in the STEP UP program, which aims to increase the number of females and other underrepresented populations who pursue a degree in physics. In July and August, five QuarkNet teachers traveled to CERN to participate in one of the two-week summer programs there for physics teachers.
The new school year provides an opportunity for us to share new ideas and activities with our colleagues and students. Please remember our network of educators and physicists called QuarkNet is here to help. E-mail addresses for QuarkNet national staff teachers are always at the bottom of each Friday Flyer.
News from QuarkNet Central
Mentors and lead teachers, if you have not yet done so, please send in your attendance sheets and any other paperwork from your summer activities; please also submit your annual report ASAP. If you have any questions, please contact Ken or Shane.
Time to get out the calendar, as dates for several QuarkNet-related activities have been set for 2019–2020.
- World Wide Data Day is Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
- International Cosmic Day is Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
- International Masterclasses 2020 will run from February 26 through April 8, 2020. Registration will begin later this fall. Stay tuned.
Physics Experiment Roundup
At 14.1 teslas, Fermilab scientists achieve a world record in magnetic field strength for accelerator magnets, surpassing the previous record of 13.8 teslas. They're not done yet; with further enhancements, they expect to be at 15 teslas within a few months.
Balloons . . . they're not just for parties and static electricity demos; they can actually be useful in particle acceleration as well.
The 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics is shared by members of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, including two Fermilab scientists, and there's a QuarkNet connection! UMass-Boston student Joe Farah is also among the 347 team members who will share in the prize money. Joe is a former student of Boston-area QuarkNet teacher Michael Wadness. According to Wadness, "Not too shabby for a 19-year old student at UMass-Boston!" We agree. Congrats!
Fermilab's Don Lincoln has added new videos to the Fermilab YouTube page, including one on leptogenesis (which may be key in answering the age-old question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?") and a video on Fermilab and the High-Luminosity LHC. We know that neutrinos have very small masses, but exactly how small, we don't know. Read some of the latest in the quest to estimate the mass of these so-called ghost particles. We're all very familiar with water vapor, liquid water, and water ice, but there's more! Learn more about superionic ice in this LLNL video.
Just for Fun
It's Friday, and you don't have any weekend plans yet? Don't worry, xkcd to the rescue! Their Throw Calculator is sure to provide hours of learning and fun!