Submitted by kcecire
on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:53
Happy New Year!
Spotlight on the Virginia Tech QuarkNet Center: Virginia Tech continued its growth in 2016. The two lead teachers, Rebecca Jaronski and Nick Merrill, worked over the summer under Camillo Mariani on research to test photomultiplier tubes for a system to enhance nuclear reactor safeguards. On the professional development front, Rebecca attended Inspiring Science Education in Greece, and Nick went to Data Camp at Fermilab. The team did a great job this summer and is looking forward to its Associate Teacher Institute in 2017!
News from QuarkNet Central: International Masteclasses are coming in March, so we need centers toregister for both the masterclass videoconferences and for orientations. Orientations and updates, which start January 28, are important for the latest information and to test Vidyo links. Check the pages cited (and the schedules therein) and contact Ken for more information; the orientation registration form is now online. In more International Masterclasses news, the latest IMC circular is now available; look for these every week from now until masterclasses start!
Physics Experiment Roundup: The Dark Energy Survey is an advanced project that does, well, pretty much what the name suggests. Recently, they found something else. CMS is, of course, one of the two large multipurpose detectors in the Large Hadron Collider. Components are built worldwide. So how are those components brought to CERN? Carefully.
Resources: Physics and astronomy lost a resource and inspiration in Vera Rubin, who recenlty passed away at age 88. No one did more to show that dark matter is real. Learn more from this AIP oral history piece and this compendium of Vera Rubin in Physics Today. Also in history: 2016 in particle physics from symmetry.
Just for Fun: What if famous scientists had logos? It might look like this.
Spotlight on the Syracuse University QuarkNet Center: Activity in 2016 at this center began in the spring with two days of LHCb masterclasses, with a total of 55 students from four area high schools participating in the daylong event in which students learn about the LHC and analyze data from LHCb. During the summer, eight teachers (seven of whom were new to QuarkNet) took part in a two-day CMS data workshop on July 6–7. Teachers had the special treat of three mentors (Profs. Steven Blusk, Matthew Rudolph, and Mitch Soderberg) working with them during these two days, allowing for abundant mentor-teacher interaction throughout.
News from QuarkNet Central: Mentors and lead teachers, it's not too soon to start considering QuarkNet plans for your center in 2017. Staff and leadership fellows are available to help with plans, and don't forget that QuarkNet Central offers several two- to three-day workshops that can be done at your center. Watch for a link to the 2017 RFP in early January!
One more reminder that early registration for the AAPT Winter Meeting in Atlanta ends on December 28. Several QuarkNetters will be there, so stay tuned for plans to meet!
Physics Experiment Roundup: The LHC is still "young" with likely at least 15 more years of groundbreaking discoveries; nevertheless, physicists are already planning the potential next accelerators to answer the big questions beyond the reach of the LHC. ATLAS releases the first measurement of W mass using LHC data.
Using the QuarkNet Website: Looking for some information from a past Friday Flyer? Find out how to search an archive of the Friday Flyer on the QuarkNet website here.
Resources: This year's Windy City Physics Slam consisted of five competing scientists, each with ten minutes to explain their research in a fun way that can be understood by a general audience. Check out these five engaging presentations and decide for yourself which one you think is best!
Just for Fun: Instead of cutting out paper snowflakes this year, use these templates to cut out "snowflakes" in the image of physicists like Einstein, Curie or Schrodinger! Perhaps holiday cookies are more your style; don't worry, symmetry has got you covered with these scientific cookie decorations. And finally, check out this image that's a five-month-long exposure showing the path of the sun every day from June–December at Fermilab's Proton Pagoda.
This will be the final Friday Flyer for 2016. Happy Holidays to you all. See you in 2017!
Spotlight on the Queensborough Community College QuarkNet Center: Queensborough Community College (QCC) particle physicist Raul Armendariz wanted to build a cosmic ray network in New York. QuarkNet was interested in piloting our program in a two-year college. A new center was made! One-part a traditional start-up QuarkNet center, QCC has two lead teachers, QuarkNet veteran Colin Denis and new QuarkNet teacher Kelly O'Shea who will do research and go to Data Camp in summer 2017. Also, the center has a strong component of college students working on detectors funded by QCC. Recently, they made a poster about their work. The next few years will be very interesting.
News from QuarkNet Central: Have you scheduled your videoconference for International Masterclasses 2017 yet? Well, check out the videoconference schedule, look for a suitable slot, and send Ken an e-mail. We especially hope you will match up with a group that does not yet have videoconference partners. When thinking about the schedule, also think about February 10–11: International Masterclasses will have special videoconferences for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science; read all about it in the latest IMC circular.
Going to the AAPT Winter Meeting in Atlanta, February 18–21? If so, note that early registration, which saves a lot, ends on December 28. The program is now available. QuarkNetters who will be there: Let's try to get together. We'll let you know more in the new year.
Physics Experiment Roundup: The MicroBooNE neutrino detector at Fermilab has a cool new look—all to exercise the cosmic veto. Astronomers are excited these days; they have discovered a faint new satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. In addition, symmetry reports work has begun on the Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA) to map gamma rays from regions near black holes and elsewhere and on comsic rays and AMS.
Using the QuarkNet website: What are the different user roles in the QuarkNet site? Find out.
Just for Fun: Moving the two-dimensional motion, Notre Dame teacher Dan Walsh and his students at Adams High School have answered the age-old question, "When will we get a good, engaging centripetal acceleration lab?" (Here is the apparatus.) As often happens, we are not sure what to make of this XKCD, except it is geeky enough to run in the Friday Flyer. This too.
Spotlight on the Northern Illinois University QuarkNet Center: The NIU QuarkNet Center, located just a short drive west of Fermilab in DeKalb, Illinois, had a successful 2016, with events and activities organized by Dhiman Chakraborty and Elisa Gatz. On March 3, teachers and students participated in the International Masterclass, with students analyzing data from CERN's ATLAS detector. The summer program took place during the week of June 6–10, with 21 students participating in addition to teacher involvement. Participants had the opportunity to learn about a wide array of physics topics from talks ranging from cosmology to the impacts of high-energy physics research on our daily lives. Students and teachers also collected data using the cosmic ray detectors; the week ended with a poster session, in which results of cosmic ray studies were shared.
News from QuarkNet Central: Updated Center Contacts! Recently, we updated the list of staff and leadership fellows who serve as a point of first contact for each QuarkNet center. The list can be found here; these leadership fellows and staff are able to assist mentors and lead teachers in planning for center activities and to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources "QuarkNet Central" has to offer. Masterclass season is approaching; check out all the latest about International Masterclasses 2017 on this updated IMC2017 informational circular.
Physics Experiment Roundup: CERN uses two robots, each known as TIM (Train Inspection Monorail), to inspect the LHC in order to keep the accelerator in working order. After some recent upgrades, LIGO is back online ready to make more discoveries.
Resources: As we all know, physics is a broad subject containing an enormous number of topics. Physicist Dominic Walliman attempts to put it all in perspective through a video and poster found in this article. Fermilab's Don Lincoln talks about the Higgs boson from the perspective of 2016 in this video. It's now official: As of Wednesday of this week, the names suggested in June this year for newly discovered elements numbers 113, 115, 117, 118 have been added to the periodic table.
Just for Fun: Think you had a challenging time preparing Thanksgiving dinner last week? Try making it in space! Check out how astronauts made a Thanksgiving meal on the International Space Station. Fermilab turns the "big 5-0" in 2017! Keep up to date with the plans for the yearlong celebration here.
Spotlight on Sudha Balakrishnan: You may not know Sudha Balakrishnan, but chances are her work has impacted you. Sudha works as an important part of the QuarkNet IT team and spends a lot of time maintaining and improving our e-Labs. Born in India, Sudha went to high school in Tinley Park, Illinois. After getting her B.S. in Physics at the University of Illinois, she went on for an M.S. in Applied Mathematics at the State University of New York. She also received another M.S. (computer science) at DePaul University. Sudha has worked for QuarkNet at Fermilab since January 2015 while also teaching math at the College of DuPage. She reports that her favorite hobby is painting.
News from QuarkNet Central: If your group is planning to register for International Masterclass videoconferences online, the opportunity closes today. To get it in last minute, get the links from this previous circular. Registration is still open! You can register by checking the schedule and then sending an e-mail. The latest masterclass circular tells you how. Speaking of International Masterclasses, have you checked them out on Twitter recently?
Using the QuarkNet Website: You can edit a document in your own center group. Read how.
Resources: Concrete: symmetry asks what to do with all this data. More abstract: A no-dark-matter theory of gravity (you read that right) is kicking up a bit of a storm in physics world. Here is a news article and, for the very bold, the paper by Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde. Friday Flyer takes no editorial position on this or, really, anything.
Dark matters on Black Friday: There will be no Friday Flyer next week. We pick it up again on December 2.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Spotlight on the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) QuarkNet Center: This year was a busy and successful year for the FIT center under the leadership of mentors Francisco Yumiceva and Marcus Hohlmann. QuarkNet staff Mark Adams and fellow Robert Franckowiak led the eight participating teachers through a cosmic workshop during the summer teacher workshop week. In addition, teachers heard several talks and worked through some activities from the Data Portfolio with QuarkNet fellow Adam LaMee. Early in the year, students at nearby Palm Bay Magent High School used cosmic ray muon detectors surrounded by large tanks of water to determine the effects of the water on detector counts, winning the students first place in a regional science fair, and fourth place in the Florida State Science Fair!
News from QuarkNet Central: NEW OPPORTUNITY!! In summer 2017, CERN will hold its first ITW (International Teacher Weeks), which is a residential program open to high school science teachers from around the world to visit CERN to learn more about particle physics. More information on ITW 2017 here, including links to the application which will be open through December 31, 2016. Note that this is a separate opportunity than the three-week-long HST experience that has been in place for several years. Watch for information soon to come out about the HST application process for teachers from the U.S.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Normally, we think of the LHC as colliding proton beams with proton beams. Starting this week, the LHC is temporarily colliding proton beams with beams made up of heavy ions: the nuclei of lead atoms. Sometimes "something" can turn out to be "nothing," as in the case of the "diphoton blip" of 2015.
Using the QuarkNet Website: Did you know that when you're logged into the QuarkNet website you're able to comment on a document, even the Friday Flyer? Go ahead, give it a try! Scroll to the top of the page to log in, then scroll to the bottom of the page to comment.
Just for Fun: Cup of coffee a bit too hot this morning? Wondering about the best technique for cooling this coffee? Find out what science has to say, via Wired magazine!
And a final note on this Veterans Day 2016. Thank you to all of our veterans out there for your service and dedication!
Spotlight on the Boston Area QuarkNet Center: The "Boston Group" is one of the oldest QuarkNet centers, being in the "inaugural class" of 1999. They have three QuarkNet fellows in the center and are active in International Masterclasses, the Cosmic Ray Studies program, and in QuarkNet opportunities like Data Camp and CERN HST. (Two teachers went to Data Camp last summer.) They meet once per month and for a workshop in the summer. This past summer, lead teacher (since 1999!) Rick Dower took the group on a tour of the history of particle physics. Rick also built a laser interferometer for use in LIGO e-Lab workshops, and Mike Wadness reported in the QuarkNet site on the results he and his students got from a muon time-of-flight experiment.
News from QuarkNet Central: Registration for Masterclasses 2017 is going strong. The Fermilab registration has 17 masterclass institutes registered so far; leaders should sign up soon to get their slots. And we've opened more slots: March 11, 30, and 31 and April 1 (what could go wrong?). A few dates were added for CERN masterclasses as well. To learn how to access the new dates and get the latest news, go to the IMC circular for this week.
Beamline for Schools, the competition in which student teams propose experiments at CERN—and get to do their experiment there if they win—is now open. To learn more, go to the website.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Know your particle detector! Put it to the test (beam)! Read more from Fermilab News at Work. But what can you do with all this particle stuff? Well, neutron holography. In the department of the slightly more esoteric, we have computing dark matter as axions. Last experiment: What was the mass of that antiproton, anyway? The ASACUSA experiment at CERN uses hybrid matter-antimatter atoms to find out. Really.
Using the QuarkNet Website: Don't browse all those menus if you don't have to! Look up! In the black header on every page is a search box. Read up on how to search.
Just for Fun: Alright, here is Spock with a goatee. Seen that interesting twisty sculpture at Fermilab, the Tractricious? Read its story. In Germany, there is Physics in Advent. (It must be getting late in the year.) And . . . a little XKCD.
Spotlight on the University of Minnesota QuarkNet Center: During Summer 2016, the annual workshop was divided into two parts: a three-day cosmic ray studies workshop in June and two days in August studying neutrinos and the NOvA experiment. Martin Shaffer led the group through the cosmic workshop where participants assembled a detector, became more familiar with EQUIP, and performed several cosmic ray studies, including one on time of flight. Minnesota physicist Ken Heller led most of the activity during the two-day NOvA workshop in August. Ken gave a talk on the NOvA experiment, prepared teachers for a tour of the far detector, and spoke on problem solving in physics; a topic on which Ken's Physics Education Research Group has focused for several years. The teachers drove the nearly four hours up to a small resort near Ash River, Minnesota (near the NOvA far detector) to stay overnight in order to tour the NOvA far detector on day two. There's nothing quite like a road trip with a bunch of physics teachers!
News from QuarkNet Central: A reminder that International Cosmic Day is next Wednesday, November 2. Registration for Masterclasses 2017 opened last week; get more information from this registration notice.
Physics Experiment Roundup: See how CERN's CLOUD experiment relates to climate research. Learn more about "taming the firehose" of CMS's data stream as a recent paper highlights the detector's triggering system.
Using the QuarkNet website: New feature! Do you wonder how to find a center group in the QuarkNet site? Here's how.
Resources: Learn more about gravitational-wave detectors in this primer from symmetry.
Just for Fun: Break out the big box of crayons 'cause it's time to get coloring; check out the ATLAS coloring book recently released by the experiment. Have any taffy in that collection of Halloween candy? Learn about some of the math involved in building the ultimate taffy machine.
Spotlight on the University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame is not only a very active QuarkNet center but also an administrative hub for the whole QuarkNet program. With support from the university, the Notre Dame center has extensive summer research, runs 2-4 international masterclasses each year, has teachers doing outreach in local science exhibitions, and has brought QuarkNet activities to South America in partnership with particle physicists and the physics teacher group at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile. The Notre Dame iSPI program for international students is an outgrowth of QuarkNet.
Two of the principal investigators, a staff member, an IT specialist, and an administrator for the QuarkNet national program are all at Notre Dame and QuarkNet has its own office-and-lab facility south of campus. (Contact Ken about coming to visit!) The PI's and others in the program are active in CMS research.
News from QuarkNet Central: Registration for International Masterclasses 2017 begins today! Masterclass leaders can register their groups on this Google form for Fermilab or the Doodle polls for CERN. Get all the information from the registration notice. Online registrations close on November 18. Grab your spot early!
Physics Experiment Roundup: We love our cosmic ray detectors . . . they do at Mu2e as well, but for a different reason. We also love accelerators. To learn more about them, chat with Mattia. On the astro front, symmetry reports on how a side project led to a big new discovery.
Resources: Like music? Like physics? And differential equations? Well, A Capella Science has a rap for that. And Physics Girl has come up with some nice resources for masterclasses and more with her videos What are Quarks? Sugar Edition! and Seeing the Smallest Thing in the Universe.
Just for Fun: As Halloween is near, we have a special—and by special we mean fictional—guest writer of Just for Fun this week:
It is I, the Physics Count, ah ha ha, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, ah ha ha*...have you seen my favorite scary movie posters? Well, look at them in symmetry, ah ha ha!
*If you've raised children in the U.S. and are a geek, you will get this. (If you're unfamiliar, this may help.)
Spotlight on the Oklahoma State University QuarkNet Center: Nearly 20 teachers from across the state of Oklahoma met on the campus of OSU for a week in June 2016 to learn about cutting-edge research and gain hands-on experience making cloud chambers that teachers were able to bring back to their schools. Mentors Flera Rizatdinova, Joseph Haley and Alexander Khanov organized the weeklong event that included talks on detection of particles at the LHC and experience taking measurements with Geiger counters. Since Oklahoma State and University of Oklahoma (OU) take turns hosting a QuarkNet workshop each year, Michael Strauss (mentor from OU) was also present to help out. QuarkNet fellow Rick Dower led a two-day LIGO e-Lab workshop during the week as well, in which teachers learned about gravitational waves, the LIGO detectors, and analyzed seismic data from the LIGO experiment. Teachers also discussed implementation strategies, teaching methods, and some of the current realities of education in Oklahoma. A busy week, indeed!
News from QuarkNet Central: Watch for International Masterclasses 2017 registration beginning late next week! Dates were recently announced for IMC 2017; Fermilab videoconferences will take place from March 13 to April 8. CERN dates are also available; learn more by reading the first IMC circular of this academic year. A reminder of opportunities coming soon: International Cosmic Day and Beamline for Schools.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Check out these new techniques in the search for dark matter and the new planetarium show designed to immerse audiences in the search for this "phantom" matter. Physicists and geologists partner to study geoneutrinos.
Resources: Wondering if you should build a particle accelerator that collides protons or electrons? Fermilab's Don Lincoln explains the pros and cons of colliding protons versus colliding electrons. Join the search for gravitational waves using Gravity Spy; read more about this "citizen science" project in this symmetry article.
Just for Fun: Ever been to Fermilab's Wilson Hall atrium and wondered if the plants are real? Find out here!