QuarkNet Summer Workshop 2020

The Institute for Fundamental Science1 (IFS) at the University of Oregon hosted the 2020 QuarkNet workshop June 22. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was offered in hybrid format – participants could choose to join in person on the UO campus, or via Zoom. Four teachers and one student joined in person, and three teachers and a QuarkNet observer participated remotely. Three of the faculty presented in person and the other two via Zoom. This was our nineteenth summer workshop. Information from the workshop web page is below and the URL (including live links) is here: https://pages.uoregon.edu/rayfrey/QuarkNet/2020/QuarkNet_2020.html.

Because of the unusual circumstances this year, we didn’t have a specific programmatic focus to the workshop. Instead, we provided updates on the main faculty research topics, namely astrophysics with LIGO and high-energy physics with Atlas, as well as a perspective talk on the future of high-energy physics by Jim Brau. The UOCHEP faculty participation was Ray Frey (lead mentor and PI), Laura Jeanty, Spencer Chang, Jim Brau, and Robert Schofield. Despite a few minor glitches with the hybrid system (for example, it was difficult for participants on Zoom to understand speakers using a mask), the faculty talks were very well received and, following usual practice, the presentation files are linked on the web page above, where they are available to teachers. Funds from the UO IFS were used to cover local expenses (catering and parking), as well as the support for our outstanding Administrative Program Assistant, Anne McGinley. The agenda included the traditional item in which teachers share interesting projects they undertook in the previous year and discuss possibilities for the coming year. This sharing of ideas, successes, and failures is very popular with the teachers.

[1] Note that the UOCHEP has now merged with the UO Institute for Theoretical Science to form the new Institute for Fundamental Science.


UO QuarkNet Workshop June 22, 2020, Pandemic Edition

412 Willamette Hall, University of Oregon and on Zoom

Program, with links to talks:

10:00 Gather, set up remote participants, introductions
Ray Frey:  slides 39 MB pdf

1. Update on LIGO and gravitational-wave astrophysics – what can we learn from spacetime ripples from ~100 black hole collisions

   2. The great 2020 “crisis in cosmology”

11:30 Laura Jeanty:  Update on Atlas at CERN. Contact Laura for presentation slides.
12:30 Lunch -- on your own
1:45 Jim Brau (via Zoom): slides pdf
Planning the Future of US High Energy Physics
2:45 Spencer Chang (via Zoom): slides 5 MB pdf
Determining the properties of the Higgs boson
3:35 Roundtable on teacher projects – successes and failures
4:30 Robert Schofield: Tour of the Ant Lab, the UO Accelerator, and the Pioneer statue stumps

    Ray Frey, rayfrey (at uoregon.edu),  541-346-5873
    Anne McGinley, annem (at uoregon.edu),  541-346-4898

UO Faculty participants:
    Ray Frey, Laura Jeanty, Jim Brau, Spencer Chang, Robert Schofield

High school science teacher participants:

    Beth Churchill (Blanchet Catholic School), in person
    Karen Hunter (Physics by Discovery), remote
    Ron Crawford (Bend HS), in person
    Christopher Doscher
 (Churchill HS), remote
Asher Tubman (South Eugene HS), remote
    Dani Tubman  
(South Eugene HS), in person
    Dave Trapp  (QuarkNet), remote
Oregon QuarkNet
US QuarkNet


  • QuarkNet program: National Science Foundation and US Dept of Energy
  • UO Institute for Fundamental Science