Black Hills State University QuarkNet Center
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)
on Monday, June 3, 2013 - 10:00
Teachers, students and physicists working together to explore high energy physics.
A collaboration of teachers, students and physicists involved in inquiry-based, particle physics explorations.
J. Ivy (Aberdeen Central High School)
Steve Gabriel (Spearfish High School) Dr. Kara Keeter (Black Hills State University)
The purpose of this study was to locate and isolate instances of coincidence between muon flux and major weather events over the last three to five years. We conducted this search by running flux studies on reliable cosmic ray data during the time of three major weather events. These events were the tornado outbreaks of May 2013, Hurricane Sandy, and the Black Hills blizzard of October 2013. For each of the events, we used the cosmic ray data of the Spearfish High School CRMD (Cosmic Ray Muon Detector), which has the most consistent data of any of the detectors, as a baseline. The outbreak event looked at data from the Spearfish, Arkansas City, KS, and the Fermilab detectors. On all three detectors there was an increase in flux during both periods of the outbreak, May 16-18th and 25-31st , and recorded a drop in events between the outbreaks. Because of the issue of also matching barometric pressure and the inconsistence of one of the detectors, we were not able to determine a correlation. The second event, Hurricane Sandy, looked mostly at a detector in Michigan. The muon flux in the data corresponded to fluctuations in barometric pressure, rising and falling at approximately the same rate. This also coincided with the landfall of Sandy. Due to the lack of data from other detectors, the Michigan one being the only one within 2,000+ miles, I was able to find coincidence, but correlation could not be determined. The Black Hills blizzard event focused on the flux data of the Spearfish detector, and a detector in the Lead-Deadwood area of South Dakota. There was no correlation in the data, and there were inconsistencies in the data that made determining any correlation nearly impossible without further investigation. Between all three of our studies, we could not find any correlation between the weather events and muon flux due to inconsistence of data, lack of other sources of data, and time constraint. At this time, further investigation would be required to confirm my findings or to find evidence of correlation.
BHSU Abstract-Sanford Underground Research Facility Ventilation Using Distributive Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Flow Meters
J. Ivy (Aberdeen High School), J. Wieland (Aberdeen High School),
O. Smith (Spearfish High School) and Steve Gabriel (Spearfish High School)
The installation of the third flow meter at the 4850 level at the Sanford Underground Research Facility SURF on July 15, 2014, is an ongoing quest to see if multimode fiber optic cable can be used to monitor ventilation in a large underground structure. This installation was carried out by QuarkNet Researchers. The flow meters located and the 4850 level will provide real time environmental data to researchers and facility personnel that will assist in the day-to-day decision making that is done.
Environmental data being gathered consists of battery voltage, panel temperature, pressure wind velocity and direction and in the future the volume of air movement.
Eventually, data similar to the above table from multiple flow meters dispersed along the DTS fiber may provide correlation with Raman back scattering capabilities of DTS.
More information can be found at: http://www.spearfish.k12.sd.us/~sgabriel/sgindex.html
O. Smith (Spearfish High School), J. Weiland (Aberdeen High School)
Steven Gabriel (Spearfish High School)
Dr. Kara Keeter (Black Hills State University)
The purpose of our research was to create a device to control the temperature of the Tiger Optics cell in the Black Hills State University laser spectroscopy lab. Lab assistants requested a device that would offer temperature control up to ± .1ºC. The system was showing huge variations in data as the temperature rose and fell; the metal on the devices was expanding marginally as the temperature in the room rose fractions of a degree, which threw off the readings. One could look at their data and see when a person walked in the room. Clearly the cell was very sensitive.
Upon viewing the setup of the cell, which was bolted to a table along with the laser, mirrors, AOM, and detector, our first impression was to create an insulated container to put it all in. The other option was building a temperature containment chamber around just the cell, however we chose not to do so as we thought the extra glass pane would distort the laser excessively. Then, we began researching ways to contain temperature and maintain it. There were a variety of ways to do so, including insulation, heating, and cooling. We looked at many forms of each: water jackets, vacuum chambers, and space drapes as insulation, Tenny chambers, chilled beam cooling, heat lamps, and heat sinks. There were various pros and cons to all of these, one of the most influential being expense. Clearly, a large Tenny or vacuum chamber was out of the question, however, there was a possibility we could combine them into an effective device. Then, we stumbled across a scientific article entitled Design and Capabilities of the Temperature Control System for the Italian Experiment Based on Precision Laser Spectroscopy for a New Determination of the Boltzmann Constant (A. Merlone, F. Moro, A. Castrillo, L. Gianfrani). The paper described how to create an isothermal cell with phenomenal stability; the temperature could be maintained to within ± .1º mK. This was much, much more precise than we needed; however, the paper offered valuable information.
We were able to draft our first design soon after. It was a large vacuum chamber (120 cm by 50 cm) kept at a rough vacuum (20 torr) with the laser setup inside on a bolt-plate. Underneath the experiment but within the vacuum there were tubes that would be pumped full of chilled water and anti-freeze (We were aiming for a temperature of about 20º F as the photodiode in the detector works better under cold conditions.) We looked at a variety of other refrigerants such as CO2 , ammonia, liquid nitrogen, and some R11 mixtures, but the simplest and cheapest way to go was with water. There was also the possibility of using water vapor and compression to cool the system, which is a very efficient form of refrigeration; however, water’s high specific volume would be plain unwieldy (New, Natural and Alternative Refrigerants. Dr. S F Pearson). We decided we should just avoid the change of state and chill the liquid water. The cooled system would maintain a generally constant temperature; the more precise temperatures would be maintained using thermistors and a feedback loop (explained later).
The shape of the vacuum chamber was eventually made to be a cross section of an octagon (an irregular hexagon) with vacuum ports on the sides where the chords would enter and exit from. Originally, it was dome-shaped; the creases in the metal were added for stability later. The top would be removable, but the sides would be attached to the base so as not to disrupt the chords when editing the setup. (There is an illustration of the earliest model we had designed, back when it was a dome instead of a hexagon and the detector was also being kept at a steady temperature. Of course, things have changed since this was drawn. Drawn by John Weiland in MS Paint.) We had three options when it came to metal: steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. The consensus was aluminum because it was cheaper than stainless steel, easier to work with than stainless steel, lightweight unlike steel of any kind, and does not corrode or rust like regular steel. Also, aluminum is not magnetic at all, whereas steel is residually magnetic. The metal’s gage would be about 12.
At this point in our research, we still wanted to create a massive vacuum chamber. After talking to Dr. Brianna Mount, the leader of the spectroscopy project, we began to question that decision. It was unwieldy to create such a large chamber just for temperature containment when what we were really targeting was the cell. (The detector’s issue with Johnson noise was deemed irrelevant, as long as it was lower than that of the cell.) So, with the help of Dr. Mount and Dr. Keeter, we began revising our plan.
As of now, the new plan is not completely finished; we still do not know what method would be best for insulating the cell from the outside environment, however, we have worked to create a functional feedback loop. The feedback loop is created using a thermistor, a TEC, and a heating element. Our target temperature is 30 ºC (as it is much easier to heat than cool, and we have pretty much abandoned the idea, and so it would be best to use a 50KΩ thermistor. It is an NTC thermistor (Negative Temperature Coefficient) in which the resistance decreases as the temperature outside increases. The thermistor will be attached to the surface of the cell. The feedback loop will be moderated by the MPT2500 TEC from Wavelength Electronics; when the temperature goes below 30º, the TEC will turn on the heating element. Polyimide Thermofoil Heaters act as the heating element; they are thin and flexible devices from Minco.
Future plans include some type of insulation for the cell so that its heat is kept even more stable and possibly some form of temperature control for the detector. The system has not been tested yet, however, it will hopefully be implemented. This temperature control system will eliminate the variations in data caused by temperature fluxuations which would mean a great deal to the laser spectroscopy experiment and to the greater project at DarkSide.
pressure correction to CR flux to find Forbush Decrease during solar storm.
from Neutron Monitor Database: http://www.nmdb.eu/?q=node/19
Developed by Rose Emanuel, Chad Ronish, and LuAnn Lindskov during QuarkNet at BHSU in June, 2014
Madison Jilek, Drew Powers, Christopher Randolph, Rachel Williams
Cosmic Ray Muon Detector
The purpose of having underground labs is to get away from cosmic rays, which can create unwanted or harmful backgrounds in the results of hypersensitive experiments such as LUX and Majorana which are currently underground at the 4850 ft. level at SURF. One could use the cosmic ray muon detector to detect these potentially harmful rays. Inside the detectors, there is a photomultiplier tube (PMT) mated with a scintillator and when a muon hits the scintillator it loses energy in the form of a photon due to the change in medium, which is counted by the PMT. After taking data, someone could run flux studies, and when different people compared those studies to the atmospheric pressure, it was noticed that there was a correlation between the two. When pressure was at a low, more muons passed through our detectors, and when the pressure was at a high, less muons passed through.
The flow meter project is an ongoing project at the 4850 level in the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The flow meters were built to monitor the air flow, temperature, and humidity of the ventilation. Ventilation is very important in a confined space environment wherein fresh air, radon gas expulsion, and coolant are necessary to keep the environment habitable. The flow meters were constructed, using Campbell Scientific equipment, and installed using sonic anemometers to measure air speed and flow, a pressure sensor, and a relative temperature and humidity probe to monitor the underground conditions. Our data collected showed us several correlations to the regular operations of the facility, such as the Orohondo Fan. The Orohondo Fan pulls air out of the levels in the facility with also brings out excess radon gas, old air, and heat to the surface. When the fan was turned off, air flow sharply decreased from around a consistent 70000 ft. per min to around 25000 ft. per min at the 17 Ledge, and decreased from around 80000 ft. per min to around 45000 ft. per min at the 4 Winze Wye. This shows that the data can be important to the facility when emergencies occur, such as carbon monoxide or fires, to see the direction of the emergency activity, and how to resolve the problem.