QuarkNet an der Elbe: Hi there!

Hi folks,

This is the first of series of occasional posts on the QuarkNet site about what I see and learn about particle physics, education, and plain interesting stuff during my time in Dresden, a historic city which sits on both sides of a nice stretch of the Elbe River. Thus the main title of these posts: QuarkNet an der Elbe.  Of course, I do not get to see the Elbe all the time; more likely, I see my office here at the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics in the Technical University of Dresden. You can compare the two views:

Dresden Altstadt (old city) looking west across the Elbe. A view of my desk. Note the interesting aluminum boxes.

The second view is sort of neat in that the stacked boxes on the file cabinet are parts of a cosmic ray detector. The smaller box at top contains a QuarkNet DAQ; this sits on two counters which are connected by plug-in cables. This is the sort of detector used in Netzwerk Teilchenwelt (Particleworld Network), the German complement to QuarkNet, though they usually deploy with three, not two (or four) counters.* Next week, I will briefly visit DESY Zeuthen, the particle physics research lab near Berlin which is cosmic ray central for NT . While there I'll learn more about how they use their detectors in Germany. I plan to use the one I am borrowing to do some data uploads to the e-Lab, get ready for International Cosmic Day, and experiment a bit. (For the eagle-eyed: can you see EQUIP running on my laptop?)

You may or may not know that CERN is celebrating its 60th anniversary this autumn. We are having the Dresden part of that celebration starting October 6. One of the highlights is CERN Director General Rolf Heuer answering questions after a showing of Particle Fever in German. I'll be involved in some of the other events that are not as connected to world-famous people. Maybe you can figure out where I ought to fit into the schedule: http://tinyurl.com/cern60-dresden.

Finally, I leave you with this:

So...what do you think you see? If you are saying, "Oh, yes, this is a newly minted PhD in theoretical particle physics being pushed down the street in a makeshift car by his thesis advisor," you get top marks. I've attended two thesis defenses so far here at TU Dresden and have seen this happen twice. If all goes well in the defense, the student is declared to be a Doctor a few minutes after the last question has been answered. Then, well, this happens. Here Dr. Alexander Voigt is riding in style powered by his (just former) advisor Dr. Dominik Stöckinger. The fellow in the red shirt provides security, I guess.

Viele Grüße,




* Five is right out.