Submitted by kcecire
on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:53
Spotlight on the Virtual QuarkNet Center: The Virtual Center is a home for teachers who live far from a geographic QuarkNet center. They meet monthly by videoconference and gather for a few days each summer. They went to New Mexico in August 2015 to visit physicists at Los Alamos and take advantage of the location, visiting the VLA radio observatory and doing their own observations under the clear New Mexico night sky. "It was a great scientific program," says mentor Dan Karmgard. Wabash College physics professor Danielle McDermott, who does research at LANL, arranged much of the activity and joined the team of Virtual Center mentors. Far from a QuarkNet center? Interested? Contact: Dave Trapp or Mike Wadness.
News from QuarkNet Central: International Masterclasses has a new informational circular posted. If your QuarkNet center has not yet registered, please do so this month (preferably) or next; consult the videoconference schedule and contact Ken Cecire. Also, masterclass orientations are coming up in January. We will contact registered centers about scheduling these.
Physics Experiment Roundup: DUNE, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, is a true international collaboration. Read about it in CERN Courier.
Just for Fun: You're at the Oscars. A hush descends upon the glitterati; it's the Academy Award for Best Short Physics Film. The envelope opens and the winner is, yet again, The Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge! OK, that never happened . . . but here is all you want to know about that famous oscillation. (And please send us a note if you still have a film loop projector.)
Spotlight on the University at Buffalo - SUNY QuarkNet Center: This center held its 9th annual QuarkNet summer workshop for teachers during August 2015, with six teachers in attendance. Professors Ia Iashvili and Avto Kharchilava organized the three-day workshop, beginning with a day of introductions and an overview of particle physics followed by a two-day LHC data workshop. Teachers worked through several Data Portfolio activities, analyzed CMS data, had a virtual tour of the CMS control center at CERN, and discussed classroom implementation. In addition to the summer workshop, the Buffalo center hosted local students last spring for the CMS masterclass.
News from QuarkNet Central: Interested in winning a trip to CERN with students where they would conduct a student-led particle physics experiment? If so, then consider applying for CERN's Beamline for Schools Competition. The application process is now open for the 2016 competition.
Next week, Friday Flyer will be on break for the Thanksgiving holiday; the next Friday Flyer will be on December 4, 2015.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Symmetry explores the idea of shrinking a particle accelerator down to the size of a shoebox within five years, as SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory receives a grant to work on this "accelerator on a chip" innovative technology.
Resources: As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of general relativity this month, Fermilab's Don Lincoln provides a Space.com article, Einstein's Unfinished Dream: Marrying Relativity to the Quantum World. Embedded in this article are two of Dr. Lincoln's videos: one on quantum foam, and one on Grand Unified Theory. On a related note, check out The New Yorker's article on The Space Doctor's Big Idea.
Another greatly appreciated resource: money! Scholarship money, that is. High school seniors thinking about majoring in physics may want to consider Simpson College's Carver Bridge to STEM Success Program.
Just for Fun: As Thanksgiving approaches, it may be a good idea to brush up on your turkey physics. Also relevant this time of year is an article from the archives of symmetry magazine on the Panofsky Turkey Constant. Who says you can't geek out in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day?!
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Spotlight on the University of Wisconsin-Madison QuarkNet Center: The small but very active QuarkNet center in Wisconsin is tightly bound with one really big detector and, potentially, many really small ones. In the first category is IceCube, the giant neutrino telescope that uses the ice mass at the South Pole as a Cerenkov detector. As part of the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC), the group has built and manages an IceCube masterclass that will have 12 institutes in four countries for 2016. On the small side, physicists, teachers, and students worked last year and this summer on turning cell phone cameras into cosmic ray detectors in a project called the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-Ray Observatory (DECO).
News from QuarkNet Central: International Masterclasses have had a Facebook page for several years now, with nearly 9,000 likes. The International Masterclasses Twitter account, @physicsIMC, was born a week ago over open laptops in CERN Restaurant 1. (What better place?) The idea is to build momentum so that students around the world will tweet their masterclass experiences with the hashtag #LHCIMC16. Visit both pages and follow International Masterclasses on Twitter!
Physics Experiment Roundup: How big are those tiny, ghostly neutrinos? Big enough that physicists studying them were awarded not only the Nobel Prize this year, but also the Breakthrough Prize. (Of course, neutrinos themselves don't break through—they just go through everything while practically never interacting.) Don't forget those big, bad protons either; did you see the LHC report on 60 Minutes?
Resources: Is particle physics relevant? Well, duh, it's just the rules of the road for all the matter and energy in the entire universe. But to double down, symmetry brings it home with The particle physics of you. And now that we've established it matters, read up on neutrinos, courtesy of AAPT and Albert Einstein's colossal mistake, courtesy of CNN and Don Lincoln. Back on the LHC front, a resource has just been established by some teachers, students, and physicists: the new blog Little Things, Big Ideas.
Just for Fun: It's photos! It's a (virtual, online) walk! Vote for the best physics photos in the Physics Photowalk.
Spotlight on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) QuarkNet Center: The SMU QuarkNet group of teachers met this year during the week of August 3-7 and were treated to a wide variety of activities organized by Simon Dalley. University of Texas at Arlington Professor Joe Izen gave a talk on the LHC upgrade and SMU Professor Jingbo Ye gave a talk on cosmic rays; several teachers also shared topics relating to summer research and ideas for the classroom. Nate Unterman led the group through a three-day cosmic ray workshop during which teachers analyzed data from four detectors in a variety of configurations. In addition to the workshop, 2 teachers and 17 students performed summer research in SMU labs on a variety of topics.
News from QuarkNet Central: A reminder that registration for International Masterclasses 2016 is open. The Doodle polls are open through November 18; after that, contact Ken Cecire directly.
Physics Experiment Roundup: This week, the MicroBooNE collaboration announced that the newly built detector has seen its first accelerator-born neutrinos. Physicists at Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider recently announced that they have measured the force that makes antimatter stick together.
Resources: A nature of science article from Real Clear Science discusses how science is neither "settled" nor "skeptical." University of Illinois Professor Peter Abbamonte discusses an inside view of how science works in the video How Laws, Sausages, and Science are Made.
Just for Fun: Notice the new addition to Howard and Bernadette's apartment on TV's The Big Bang Theory?
Spotlight on the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez QuarkNet Center: The UPRM crew generally meets during the academic year as its mentors are often at Fermilab in the summer. UPRM QuarkNet teachers leave their mark in the summer anyhow, with several having participated in TRAC and Data Camp at Fermilab and at HST at CERN. A few weeks ago, they had one of their weekend workshops, this time focused on cosmic ray detectors. The highlight was an experiment with two detectors to see if the muon rate changed on different floors of the Physics building. Learn more about the workshop in English or Spanish.
News from QuarkNet Central: Reminders abound . . .
Registration for International Masterclasses 2016 is in full swing. The Doodle polls are open until November 18; after that, contact Ken Cecire directly. Masterclass leaders, the circular with useful links is online in PDF form.
Please remember to credit where credit is due to our program and its funders when presenting work relating to QuarkNet by simply placing the appropriate logos on your presentation.
Mentors: Have you submitted your QuarkNet center annual report yet? If not, it is sort of overdue. Fortunately, it is easy to do. We even have a "how-to" article about it.
If there's something strange in the e-Lab neighborhood, who you gonna call? If your detector's count don't look good, who you gonna call? The QuarkNet e-Lab Help Desk, of course! It's at the life ring in the top right of any QuarkNet e-Lab, just left of the pencil icon. If you use the Help Desk, send Bob a separate e-mail to let him know how it might be improved.
Physics Experiment Roundup: U.S. particle physics is already going strong on the neutrino front. Now nuclear physics is stepping up to the matter-antimatter frontier. At the LHC, planning is underway to get more collisions per second, giving more data, through a luminosity upgrade.
Resources: Here is a campfire story for physics students: superclusters don't exist. (The article comes with a cool video, of, sort, of nothing, in that it is a numerical simulation.) Another mysterious idea is supersymmetry, which particle physicist Scarlet Norberg explains with the help of board games.
Spotlight on the Syracuse QuarkNet Center: This past summer, Syracuse QuarkNet teachers participated in a four-day workshop organized by Steve Blusk and Mitch Soderberg. The first two days consisted of a CMS data workshop during which teachers did several activities from the data portfolio, analyzed CMS events and discussed classroom implementation. During the final two days of the workshop, teachers explored the use of cosmic ray detectors by performing muon speed, lifetime and shower studies.
News from QuarkNet Central: Registration for International Masterclasses 2016 is now open. Teachers, coordinate with your mentor to determine which dates and times work best for your center. Mentors, register by November 18 via the links Ken e-mailed to you to be included on the preliminary videoconference schedule. After November 18, centers may still sign up but will need to contact Ken or Uta directly.
And now a message about giving credit where credit is due. Please remember to acknowledge QuarkNet, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy when presenting work relating to QuarkNet; this may be done by simply placing the appropriate logos on your presentation. Thank you!
A reminder that International Cosmic Day (November 5) is quickly approaching; join students, teachers and scientists from around the world to make measurements and learn about cosmic rays!
Resources: If the universe is everything, how can there be a multiverse (multiple universes)? Fermilab's Don Lincoln discusses some of the possibilities in this video.
Just for Fun: What if? explores what would happen if the earth were made entirely of protons and the moon entirely of electrons.
Spotlight on Fermilab/U Chicago: The QuarkNet center at Fermilab consists of teachers and students from the vicinity of the Lab and those centered at the University of Chicago. It is one of our more "Astro" groups, in that the mentor, Chris Stoughton, is a Fermilab particle physicist (E769) turned astrophysicist. This past summer, they had a CMS data workshop but also a large research program. One of the premier efforts was building their own QuarkNet Radio Telescope. In all, they had two mentor teachers, eight high school students (seven juniors and one sophomore), 12 physics teachers, and one lead scientist this summer working on a wide variety of projects.
News from QuarkNet Central: The QuarkNet IT staff has been doodling around with maps and detector geometries . . . and, well, not all of our geometries are accurate. Some QuarkNet schools appear to be in oceans or remote parts of the earth. Please look at your last upload to check and, if needed, correct the latitude and longitude of your detector. Look at the altitude as well; we do not want to claim astronaut wings unless we've really been up there.
Physics Experiment Roundup: At SURF in South Dakota and Gran Sasso in Italy, detectors are looking for evidence of a different form of dark matter that Notre Dame physicists think could come in matter-antimatter varieties as well as add mass to cause supernova explosions. Speaking of things we cannot yet detect out there, the hunt for gravitational waves goes on.
Resources: Another new out-of-this-world topic: neutrino astronomy
Just for Fun: Physics Today reviews The Martian.
Spotlight on the Kansas State University QuarkNet Center: In its twelfth year, the KSU center remains strong, serving primarily teachers from small, rural schools throughout Kansas. In March, KSU participated in a particle physics masterclass with 7 teachers and 16 students in attendance, assisted by KSU's HEP and Cosmology graduate students. In the summer, KSU QuarkNet teachers were involved in a wide range of experiences, from local to international. Curt Parry and James Neff participated in the 2015 Data Camp at Fermilab, and Penny Blue went to Inspiring Science Education in Greece. The KSU teachers met during the week of July 6, starting with a workshop on Cosmology, Dark Matter and Neutrino Physics at KSU; then finishing off the week traveling to South Dakota to tour the labs nearly a mile underground at Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). While traveling, the Kansas teachers were also able to squeeze in visits to some of South Dakota's tourist attractions, including Mount Rushmore and the Badlands!
News from QuarkNet Central: New Center Contacts! At a meeting of QuarkNet staff and leaders at Notre Dame this past weekend, we reviewed center contacts, assigning a staff member or leadership fellow to each center as our main point of contact. Staff and fellows will be in touch with mentors and teacher leaders to renew connections and start planning for future work. List of Assignments
Physics Experiment Roundup: You probably have heard the exciting news this week that the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Takaaki Kajita (from Japan) and Arthur McDonald (from Canada) for their contributions to experiments that demonstrate the oscillation of neutrinos from one type to another. In the U.S., experiments such as MINOS and NOvA continue to study neutrino oscillation; NOvA released its first results earlier this year.
Resources: Thanks to event display guru Tom McCauley, it is now possible to visualize CMS collision events in stereoscopic 3D using a phone and a simple, inexpensive (~$10) Google Cardboard viewer. The content comes from iSpy-webGL, a browser-based event display developed in part by QuarkNet support for CMS. It works on a phone, tablet and desktop via a browser. Once it's loaded on your phone (preferably using Chrome), follow the instructions, and enjoy!
Just for Fun: On the topic of neutrinos again . . . check out Sheldon Cooper's "Gino the Neutrino"!
Spotlight on the international Presence of QuarkNet: International Cosmic Day is coming up on November 5! International Masterclasses and International Muon Week are coming up in late winter and early spring. QuarkNet groups are usually strong participants; please join in! Fellows Martin Shaffer and Joel Klammer joined Ken and to offer workshops on ILC, cosmic rays and masterclasses in Japan with our collaborators there. See Martin with Japanese teachers at the University of Tokyo. Meanwhile, Marge is making a difference as co-chair of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group.
News from QuarkNet Central: QuarkNet will hold a staff meeting this weekend in an undisclosed Midwest location, which is not a national lab but does have an iconic college football team. Watch this space in the weeks to come as we explain and implement results from the meeting.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Got a muon, got a magnet, look for new physics; the Fermilab g-2 experiment is cranking up. Read the article in symmetry or the other article in Popular Mechanics, then pop some popcorn and watch the video. Keep it popping for a video about the PXIE RFQ at Fermilab as part of the development of the PIP II accelerator.
Resources: Gotta love that Einstein. Here is a nice article by Brian Greene on GTR at 100* (in our reference frame) and another on how to derive the energy-mass-momentum relation. Particle physicists, please overlook the "relativistic mass" language. Another version of the derivation is in this Comment on the Z mass activity in the QuarkNet Data Portfolio.
Just for Fun: Take a look at the Lego video on the LHC (auf Deutsch!) by a teacher in the German Netzwerk Teilchenwelt program. (Give it a "like" to help it win the "fast forward science" video contest.)
Did you see that lunar eclipse? In case you did not or you just want some good images, take a look at the eclipse as photographed from the Fermilab Village. If you missed the eclipse due, don't be surprised; clouds appear at scheduled astro observations like expats would show up at Rick's.
*Or, as the dairy farmer succinctly remarked when Bessie the cow made an odd mooing noise, "Gee, myu, new." From then on, things around the pasture got tensor.
Spotlight on the Boston Area QuarkNet Center: The Boston center is one of the QuarkNet originals, dating back to 1999. They meet for a few days each summer and then have monthly evening meetings throughout the school year, sharing ideas and activities as well as getting mentor updates on particle physics. This year they brought on several new members, were active in both ATLAS and CMS masterclasses, sent member Mike Hirsh to the CERN HST program, and turned out for the Massachusetts memorial service for Tom Jordan shortly after he passed. Boston is a strong center owing in large part to the leadership of lead teacher and LHC fellow Rick Dower, who has hosted and organized workshops and meetings in his lab at Roxbury Latin School.
Rick retired from teaching this year but continues to be involved in both the Boston center and LHC fellows. No worries: the meetings will still be at Roxbury Latin and Rick will still organize them (and, as usual, bring pizza and snacks). When asked to comment on his time with QuarkNet, Rick mostly focused on the accomplishments of the center, but also shared a story: "Once I had the interesting experience traveling back from a QuarkNet gathering in Aspen, Colorado with a box full of the early cosmic ray detectors spilling over the sides. I was asked to change seats on the plane because another passenger was frightened of the detectors wrapped in black plastic with ominous wires hanging over the edge of the box." Rick still has many more stories and ideas to share, and Boston QuarkNet teachers will enjoy them for some time to come.
News from QuarkNet Central: Efforts are still underway to be sure everyone in QuarkNet is on the website. If you are not on the site or are not sure, contact a staff member for help. Once you know you are on and able to log in, please update your profile for your personal and school information as well as your DAQ information if you have a cosmic ray detector. While we are at it, think about making a contribution to your center page on the site. Here is how to create and edit a document and page. Mentors and lead teachers, please let a staff member know of anyone new to QuarkNet or who for any reason may not have an account on the QuarkNet website. Send us contact information and we will get them started.
This comes in from the teaching & learning fellows: Join us for an online videoconference using Google Hangouts in which QuarkNet teachers from around the world talk about new strategies and lessons, discuss implementation of Data Camp activities, ask each other questions, and discuss anything else of use to QuarkNet teachers. The next one is at 7 PM EST on Wednesday, September 30. Get more information from the T&L Google Hangout documentation.
Physics Experiment Roundup: As everyone knows, today is Dark Matter Friday. (Actually, FF made that up.) Some physicists go underground to hunt for the elusive stuff at Gran Sasso in Italy and SURF in South Dakota. Others plan to look deep into space using DESI—not to be confused with DESY—a new instrument that will measure redshifts and the early universe.
Resources: Five facts about dark matter
Just for Fun: More than fun, we have this from the Notre Dame College of Science: On Sunday, for the first time in more than 30 years, a total lunar eclipse will occur during a “supermoon”—when the moon is closest to the Earth. The eclipse will cause the moon to turn a deep red. The eclipse will begin at 21:07 PM ET, with the total eclipse lasting from 22:11–23:43 PM ET. Read more about it!