Submitted by kcecire
on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:53
Spotlight on what to do now that masterclasses are over: International Masterclasses 2015 have just about concluded. In QuarkNet, 19 centers held 28 separate masterclasses this March. That's a lot of students who just got excited about particle physics . . . so what's next? How can you keep them on beam with exciting activities? Well, there are opportunities for varying levels and interests from the Rock the LHC video competition to keep data probing with the CMS e-Lab. You can find a whole range of ideas and resources in the Masterclass Library Follow-on page.
Physics Experiment Roundup: NOvA live event display - refreshes every 15 seconds and shows near and far detectors
Resources: The Truth About Black Holes, the Large Hadron Collider, and Finding Parallel Universes, by Don Lincoln in the Huffington Post
Just for Fun: Water balloon physics - neat little video from SciencePorn
Spotlight on Cloud Chambers: For over 12 years QuarkNet has offered classroom cosmic ray detectors to teachers. These detectors based on scintillator/PMT counters and GPS-timed DAQs have enabled precise time cosmic ray data collection, but “how do I know the detector is measuring something real?” says the skeptical student. Even a twofold coincidence demo does not convince some. “Seeing is believing,” said the Polar Express hobo. And the QuarkNet cloud chamber provides a ready answer to “seeing is believing" actual particle tracks. This large footprint chamber was designed to nest between counters of our detector. It is cheap to build ($40-ish) and with a 10” x 10” viewing area really captivates students as they watch the many tracks suddenly appear like jet contrails. The images are so compelling it will convince the most skeptical student or teacher. “Yes, yes, I want to build one. Where do I find the instructions?” says the eager teacher. Right here!
And How to reveal subatomic particles at home from NOVA
Physics Experiment Roundup: Surprising gamma ray signal in satellite galaxy could come from WIMPs. (from arstechnica)
Just for Fun: About the Cat
News from QuarkNet Central: QuarkNet is preparing workshops that introduce the methodologies of "teaching with data" to local centers. We call these Data Workshops. We have created several classroom-ready activities that expose students to data analysis and help them to develop the skills necessary to draw conclusions based on evidence. Many of the activities use data from the LHC. Teachers explore these activities in the workshop and have ample opportunity to discuss how they might use the activities in their classrooms. We provide a workshop facilitator prepared to lead your local teachers. Please let Ken and Tom know if you are interested. (Draft, sample agenda)
Physics Experiment Roundup: Two references to muons as probes to find uranium debris in Fukushima reactors: Muons probe Fukushima's ruins from Science, March 6, 2015 and Particle physics to aid nuclear cleanup from Symmetry, August 2014
Resources: Not just for smart dead guys - A high-school physics teacher and his students recreate Henry Cavendish's famous gravity experiment. From Phyiscs Today
Just for Fun: Cute animation about Einstein's most famous equation from Symmetry. Sorry we missed his birthday on the 14th.
Spotlight on Tom McCauley:
You are at your QuarkNet center for a CMS masterclass. As the students busily pour through electrons and muons, W's, Z's, and more, perhaps you wonder who prepared such a rich dataset for them to use. The answer is Tom McCauley, our QuarkNet colleague at CERN. Tom, a particle physicist with his Ph.D. from Northeastern University, went from being a researcher and software developer at Fermilab to working at CERN for both CMS and QuarkNet. A big focus for Tom has been event displays; he is currently working on a new, more powerful version of the iSpy-online event display that we use for masterclasses and the CMS e-Lab. Two other of Tom's important projects are CMS Open Data and improvements to the CMS e-Lab. Tom lives in Geneva and enjoys cycling, hiking, software (of course!), and reading. Contact Tom for questions about CMS, ideas about software to engage people in LHC data and computing, and, of course, to report bugs.
News from QuarkNet Central: Virtual atom smasher is an educational activity that has been developed by Ioannis Charalampidis, Peter Skands, and Francois Grey. The team is now looking for high-school students who have been in masterclasses and would enjoy being alpha testers of the game. Encouraging your students would be appreciated! The project can be introduced to students by using a one-slide summary or a short presentation. Please guide your students to the signup page: They can register there and be contacted by the team as soon as the game is ready for testing.
Resources: LHC Basics from Don Lincoln
Just for Fun: Higgs Cartoon from xkcd webcomic
This Saturday, 3-14-15, 9:26:53 will be Pi Time. Or is it at 9:26:54?
Spotlight on Wayne State University: Wayne State University has a small but thriving QuarkNet center located in the heart of Detroit. Engagement with the community is an important aspect of their programs. Each summer, mentors Rob Harr and Gil Paz bring 12 students to campus for research with QuarkNet teachers using cosmic ray detectors. During the academic year, the mentors and teachers work with local physics teachers in the Detroit Metro Area Physics Teachers group. In the past year, the focus has been on the CMS e-Lab.
Physics Experiment Roundup: The Majorano Mysteries, from SURF
Scientists may have solved mystery of matter's origin, from the Washington Post
LHC Restart: 'We want to break physics', from BBC News - Science and Environment
Spotlight on International Muon Week: IMW has passed, but the work goes on. Last week, 42 participant schools fired up their cosmic ray detectors to capture a weeklong snapshot of cosmic ray data bathing the planet. The schools were far-flung covering the corners of the globe. Going into the week, teams from places like Singapore, Ecuador, India, South Africa, Tbilisi, Germany, and Japan plus 26 schools from the U.S. prepped their hardware so as not to miss a scrap of data. Want to see the global distribution? Go to the IMW Google Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z0n3UY-gM9gs.k37Vdyf8R2.
Student teams experienced the trials of real-world, large-scale data collecting, hoping all things work out. Sometimes hardware failures trip up the process, but things are not a total loss. QuarkNet’s goal is student exposure to the real-data experience. Regardless of success or failure, the learning is always worth the effort. After the teams captured their data, the next steps are ongoing. Using their data, students analyze the cosmic ray flux and upload the flux plots to be posted on the Google Map. Click on the map pins to find the plots. Not all are there yet as many are still understanding their data and building the plots. If your school is an IMW participant, please try to complete your upload and share your flux plot. Others anxiously await your results; submit it to: http://rodshome.com/CosmicMap/SubmitPLOT/contactform.php.
But, it doesn’t end there. Jeff Rodriguez and Kevin Martz, who organized this effort, have matched up schools for long-distance conversations about the data and the results. Over the next several weeks, students might ask each other:
So, to the IMW teams, please prepare a one-page pdf report of your results. Include the names of the sites, plot pictures, and any discussion or conclusions from your collaboration. Contact your collaboration partner. If you do not have time for collaboration, please notify your partner and submit a quick report of your findings on your own. If you need a collaboration partner, send e-mail to Kevin Martz, and he’ll try to find one. Submit pdf form: http://rodshome.com/CosmicMap/SubmitPDF/contactform.php.
If you missed this fourth annual IMW, stay tuned. In the fall, IMW shares the effort with a partner at DESY Zeuthen in Germany for a one-day cosmic ray data capture. The two efforts are bookends on the school year and many of the same teams participate.
News from QuarkNet Central: Calling in idle detectors for maintenance. Not planning to use your cosmic ray detector anymore? Contact Dave Hoppert for directions to send it back to Fermilab. We pay the shipping!
News from the Elbe: final edition
Resources: 10 unusual detector materials from Symmetry
Spotlight on the University of Oregon Center: The center in Eugene, Oregon is near the Laser Interfermoter Gravitational Observatory (LIGO). In previous years, teachers have gone to visit the laboratory. This year, the laboratory came to them! Dale Ingram visited from the observatory. He brought several classrooom activities to the center's annual meeting in June. After watching and discussing a video about the observatory, the Oregon QuarkNet teachers built desktop intereferometers, analyzed LIGO data and discussed ways to introduce the topics in their classrooms. Later in the week, the teachers connected with their mentors via a video-link to CERN. UO physicists David Strom and Eric Torrence were at ATLAS during the QuarkNet week and connected to the meeting from their workstations in the ATLAS control room. The group rounded out the week with talks from other UO faculty and discussions of what did and didn't work in their classrooms during the previous year. This was the thirteenth Oregon summer workshop.
Physics Experiment Roundup: The LHC's Next Big Mystery (from AIP Scitation, AAPT The Physics Teacher)
Spotlight on the University of California at Santa Cruz Center: The premier project of the Santa Cruz center over the past several years has been summer research with cosmic ray detectors. (Check out a cool abstract from this past summer here.) Stu Briber, a long-time QuarkNet member and Vicki Johnson and Tanmayi Sai, SCIPP, direct the effort. This year, UCSC is having their first-ever international masterclass on March 14. The UCSC QuarkNet effort is supported by the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) and, of course, mentors Jason Nielsen and Steve Ritz.
News from QuarkNet Central: Another QuarkNet an der Elbe has hit the virtual newstands. Read it while the virtual ink is still virtually drying.
Physics Experiment Roundup: Two New Particles Enter the Fold (from the APS)
Resources: Canyon cut by short, savage floods - Find the cosmic ray connection in this story about catastrophic flooding in Iceland. (from the BBC)
Spotlight on Florida State University: The FSU QuarkNet Center was in QuarkNet's inaugural class; they've been active since 1999. Horst Wahl is the mentor. The group started by sending two teachers to Fermilab to work on DØ. They now receive support from USCMS and send teachers to work at CMS during summer months. In addition to this ongoing, active research work, they meet for one week during the summer to discuss topics that range from recent research findings to teaching physics. They have also been very active in a local, monthly effort called TeachMeet Tally. These regular meetings feature QuarkNet teachers—and others—meeting to discuss teaching. Some attendees agree to give short talks (3-7 minutes) about "strategies or lessons that have been used in the classroom." You can learn more here: http://tapestryeducatorinitiative.org/initiatives/teachmeettally/
Physics in a Nutshell: The universe takes sides in Fermilab Today. Restarting the Large hadron Collider - Spend an hour with Alan Boyle & Don Lincoln on BlogTalkRoadio.com - the show is archived on the website and on iTunes.
Resources: http://crayfis.io/ - CRAYFIS, cosmic rays found in smartphones, is a different approach to cosmic rays.
Just for Fun: Was sent this cartoon about matter, which I found online at KGB Report.
Spotlight on the University of Cincinnati: Interested in cosmic ray studies? Interested in research at CERN? Don't want to decide between them? Then you'd feel at home in the UC center, where they "do it all" and pretty well at that. Last year, UC lead teacher Jeff Rodriguez advised a group of his students for the CERN beamline for schools competition. Out of hundreds of entries, they were one of 16 groups worldwide, which was "highly commended," just one step below winning outright. (Check out their video.) Last summer, six teachers learned to use the EQUIP interface to the DAQ in the summer workshop while a team of four students and one teacher did summer research anlayzing LHCb data. The UC center is a long-time participant in International Masterclasses and is one of the few masterclass institutes in the U.S. that does the LHCb measurement. They are signed up for this year as well. And Jeff was at CERN last November to give a presentation on International Muon Week. (Read about it.) Oh . . . right, International Muon Week. Have you signed up for it yet? Well, you still can.
News from QuarkNet Center: Calling in idle detectors for maintenance. Not planning to use your cosmic ray detector anymore? Contact Dave Hoppert for directions to send it back to Fermilab. We pay the shipping!
It's back: QuarkNet an der Elbe
Resources: Don Lincoln video on "GUTs and TOEs"
Just for Fun: A map of physics, circa 1939. It prints well on 8.5" x 11" paper.