QuarkNet an der Elbe: CERN 60 Geburtstag

CERN is 60 years old and we have been celebrating this week at TU Dresden. Last night there was a special showing of Particle Fever with voice-over in German followed by a rather special in-person Q&A with CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. It all went over rather well and the only reason it was not standing room only was that there were tables in the back on which folks could perch themselves. (I was one of them.)

On Wedensday evening I gave an tour in English of the Weltmascine (World Machine) exhibit about the LHC. We had a small group but there was a lot of interest: we ended up chatting for 45 minutes after the tour was done. I'll have an English table at a Science Cafe tomorrow evening for more particle talk.

This is part of the Weltmaschine exhibit, with descriptions of the ATLAS data grid and the Higgs boson in German and English. The apparatus at the focus is for demonstating the Higgs field. The crank at top turns a paddle "particle", which can be tilted to vary the "interaction" with the "Higgs field". In the center back, a bust of Goethe looks on approvingly.

Meanwhile, the cosmic front has been quite active as well. Wednesday was International Cosmic Day, coordinated by the people at DESY-Zeuthen. Here in Dresden, a group of students came to IKTP with a physics teacher to probe the cosmic mysteries, They did a variety of experiments with two Netzwerk Teilchenwelt comsic ray detectors and had a grand time.

TU Dresden graduate student Thomas Wester works with Moritz, 15, to understand results from the "Kamiokanne" detector that sees muons from their Cerenkov radiation inside a thermos bottle.

This is the nifty Netzwerk Teilchenwelt apparatus for making measurements of cosmic ray rates as a function of azimuthal angle. Notre Dame QuarkNetters might find it a bit reminiscent of the CRiL.

On the subject of Netzwerk Teichenwelt detectors: the one I'm using now has GPS courtesy of DESY Zeuthen and an extra counter, bringing the number up to three.* The voltages on these are fixed so I have been "plateauing" using threhsold voltages, controlling it all from a Raspberry Pi. It all sort of worked and I made my first Dresden upload this morning. 


*Not that again.