Notre Dame QuarkNet Center
Submitted by kcecire
on Monday, May 6, 2013 - 09:22
Welcome to the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center (NDQC). We are located at 929 North Eddy Street in South Bend, Indiana, and are part of the University of Notre Dame, one of the parent institutions of the QuarkNet program. We hold teacher meetings every Monday during the school year, holidays excepted, and we have a very active summer research program for teachers and students.
The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center is the home to QuarkNet efforts at the University of Notre Dame and in Michiana.
Brian Dolezal (St. Joseph's High School), John Taylor (Elkhart Memorial High School), C. Mohs (St. Joseph's High School), N. Siwietz (LaLumiere School)
When Crime Scene Investigators look at a room void of evidence, they are able to use a nearly invisible UV flashlight to “turn on” the room to reveal a myriad of invisible clues. In a similar way, our device contains exotic scintillating materials that light up, illuminating a quartz capillary tube. They scream out “over here” – a hidden sub atomic particle came this way. These Shashlik (Russian for shish-ka-bob) detectors, full of dense tungsten, LISO tiles, and quartz capillary tubes (containing wave-shifting fluid) are being considered as a viable option for use at CERN in the CMS detector. We predict that the capillary tubes in these devices can be tailored to produce a uniform output signal, despite where they catch an event along their length. Our research suggests that when constructed with a painted TiO2 bulb end, they perform consistently, if not better as long as voids are centrifuged to the bulb end. Further research suggests that even after large dosages of radiation, intensity of light output is reduced but mixing performance is very good or improved. Three test areas with sophisticated set-ups incorporating P/N diodes and CCD imaging were utilized, with data gathered in multiple ways to better understand our device. These devices may prove ideal for situations detecting electrons, positrons, and photons in the ECAL regions while providing information useful for the HCAL regions of the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN leading to future discoveries in high-energy physics.
Dear QuarkNet teachers & mentors,
I've been working on a project that is coming to fruition: displaying CMS Public Data on your phone. I have written an app for Android devices (versions 4 & 5) which can access, display, animate, and detail publicly released events from CMS Run 1. (You might recognize some of these events from the CMS MasterClass, in which you should really participate in this coming spring.)
The app is working but not quite ready for the Google Play Store. This is where you come in. If you have a recent android device I'd appreciate your help in testing the new app. If you're willing, please take a look at the QuickStart guide (available here QuickStart Guide), which has instructions for getting and installing the app. In the same web directory is the full user guide featuring all the details. If you're more code-headed, you can also find the source code there. Kick the tires, take it for a spin, and let me know what you think. If it works (or doesn't) send me a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what kind of phone you've got and how it went.
Thanks in advance. With your help, we'll get the app tested and into the Play Store for geeks everywhere to enjoy, and then get on with producing a version for the iPhone.
Patrick Mooney (Trinity School), Jill Ziegler (Hamilton West HS), M. Gillen (LaLumiere School), N. Schrock (Bethany Christian)
This summer the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center’s CMS Data Group continued its analysis of CMS data. In particular, we continued our analysis of 500K high Pt isolated muon events begun last summer. We looked for evidence of ttbar systems that decay semileptonicly. We created tri-jet invariant mass plots and investigated the impact of a variety of cuts on signal/background. Among the cuts we tried were high missing Pt in the event and the likelihood that one or more of the jets were b quarks. The number of entries in the tri-jet invariant mass plot was relatively small so even non-aggressive cuts eliminated most of the signal. We will continue our studies next summer.
Cosmic Ray Detectors
Ben Mullins (Marian High School), Jeff Chorny (Lakeshore High School), K. Anderson (Bremen High School), C. Peterson (home school)
When charged particles from outside Earth’s atmosphere reach Earth, the particles collide with the atoms found in Earth’s atmosphere and separate into subatomic particles, such as muons. Despite having an average lifetime of only 2.2 microseconds, muons can reach the surface of Earth. Muons can be detected with certain counters, photomultiplier tubes, and a detector. In this study, cosmic ray detectors were used to observe the effect elevation has on total muon activity. When detectors are placed at low points of natural elevation, high points of natural elevation, and taken on airplane flights, muon activity changes. Less activity was recorded near a local riverbank than on an elevated hilltop. The greatest change in muon activity was observed when detecting rates during an airplane trip. As expected, the results showed a significance increase in muon activity at the highest elevation.
Cal Swartzendruber (Bethany Christian), Susan Sakimoto (Riley High School),
H. Bradbury (New Buffalo High School), S. Grisoli (St. Joseph's High School)
GRAND is an array of position sensitive proportional wire chambers (PWCs) located at 86.2 deg W, 41.7 deg N at an elevation of 220 m north of the University of Notre Dame campus. The 64 detector stations have a total of 82 sq-m of muon detector area. The geometry of the PWC detector stations (four stacked pairs of x and y planes) allows the measurement of charged particle tracks in two orthogonal planes to within less than one deg, on average. Muons are 99% differentiated from electrons by means of a 51 mm thick steel plate above the last pair of x and y planes. An overview of the operation of Project GRAND is given.
Tiny URL for this page: http://tinyurl.com/o8klzkv.
|Mon 18 May||Tue 19 May||Wed 20 May||Thu 21 May||Fri 22 May|
Introduction to Particle Physics
Dr. Daniel Karmgard,
University of Notre Dame
Data Analysis Prep
Per 2, 4, 6
Per 4 only
TOTEM Data Express:
TOTEM Data Express:
Discussion of Results and Q&A
with Dr. Karmgard
- Particle Adventure
- CMS Masterclass website
- LHC Rap
- Higgs Boson Explained (PHD Comics video)
- Dark Matters (PHD Comics video)
- Videos by Dr. Don Lincoln, Fermilab/ND
The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center (NDQC) continued to hold weekly meetings in 2014. A highlight of this year’s meetings was Lead Teacher Patrick Mooney helping the group to learn MatLab at one meeting per month.
The group engaged in several outreach projects, including its annual participation in Science Alive! in South Bend and Science Spectacular in Elkhart. At each of these, QuarkNet teachers, staff, and students affiliated with the NDQC put together and presented hands-on exhibits to help introduce particle physics to everyone from small children to adults.
The University of Notre Dame gave an award to members of NDQC to travel to Chile for a collaborative workshop at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, where Pat Mooney and Ken Cecire facilitated an ATLAS Data Workshop for teachers. This led to participation by those teachers and students they selected in International Masterclasses culminating in a videoconference with teachers and students at Notre Dame and Duke.
Notre Dame participated not only in an ATLAS masterclass, but also in a separate CMS masterclass, to which teachers Susan Sakimoto and Brian Dolezal brought students and had a videoconference with Fermilab. Students of teachers Dan Walsh and Aaron McNeely also participated in Exoplanet workshops which the two teachers had helped design and which were brought to their schools by QuarkNet staff, students, and faculty.
NDQC teacher Jeremy Wegner was one of the five sent from the US in summer 2014 to attend the three-week CERN High School Teachers program.
Summer research at Notre Dame’s QuarkNet Center was comprised of research in seven areas: the CMS Upgrade, Astrophysics, Digital Visualization Theater, Project GRAND, Cosmic Ray Detectors, Biocomplexity and CMS Data.
CMS Upgrade continued research looking for a detector which can tolerate the high levels of radiation found near the beam line. Our line of research began with the idea of imbedding an optical fiber in a quartz tube. The quartz tube is rad hard so it will tolerate the environment for long periods of time. We have now replaced the optical fiber with a liquid detector. The advantage of using a liquid is that when it eventually is destroyed by the radiation it can be flushed out and replaced with new liquid. We used a MatLab program to compare the light output in different samples. We also used a spectrophotometer to compare samples of liquid detector irradiated at various levels. Members of our team include Mark Vigneault, Mike McKenna and Barry Baumbaugh, all of whom are staff from Notre Dame QuarkNet, plus John Taylor and Brian Dolezal, high school teachers, and two high school students E. Beach and C. Whitaker.
The Astrophysics group studied the unusual eclipsing variable star EE Cephei. Using a CCD and colored filters at the Morrison Observatory, Jordan Hall of Science, and images of EE Cephei were obtained on four separate evenings. The CCD images were analyzed to obtain magnitudes in blue, infrared, visual, and red wavelengths. The magnitude measurements were submitted to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) for inclusion in a public database. The astrophysics group also participated in asteroid research sponsored by the International Asteroid Search Collaboration (IASC). The students used software to analyze sixteen data sets of asteroid images. Each data set was used to determine the positions of known and potential asteroids, and reports for each data set were submitted to the IASC. The student members of the astrophysics group A. Lucker, K. Huitsing, and J. Purcell. The teacher members of the astrophysics group were Aaron McNeely, Dan Walsh, and Caroline Fletcher.
The Digital Visualization Theater group wrote a new version of our hour-long theater show this summer, incorporating a new theme to the presentation (scale of the universe from our daily life down to the subatomic level). New models, scripting, and presentation text were created, edited, and organized into a performance, which we gave at the conclusion of the summer’s research period. Our student members this past summer were M. Allin and C. Ritenour, our teacher members were Ken Andert and Ed Fidler, and our QuarkNet staff member was Jeff Marchant.
Project GRAND is an array of 64 proportional wire chamber stations, located on the north edge of the Notre Dame campus. Project GRAND provides insights into the origins of cosmic rays from extraterrestrial sources, and also permits a method of detecting solar events and the ways in which they interact with Earth. The experiment was originally operated in support of graduate and undergraduate research programs under the direction of Dr. John Poirier, Professor Emeritus of Physics, and was constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Maintenance and upkeep of the detector array and its associated hardware and software is on ongoing task that is labor-intensive. Numerous repairs and upgrades continue to increase the operability of the experiments and reduce the workload required to operate and maintain the experiment. The project serves as a valuable outreach tool for high school students and teachers to study astrophysics. Teachers Cal Swartzendruber, Terry Barchfeld and Susan Sakimoto were assisted by two students, S. Burzynski and C. Gonzalez.
The Cosmic Ray Detector group evaluated all detectors at the NDQC. This included making sure the voltages were at their optimum setting, checking connections and looking for light leaks. We now have five complete sets for classroom use. The group also conducted an elevation study at Jordan Hall of Science to check for cosmic rate changes at different floors. The last study we conducted was calculating the speed of a muon. The teachers involved in this study were Jeff Chorny and Ben Mullins. The two students involved were N. Lohr and M. Wheeler.
The Biocomplexity group developed a protein binding model for biochemistry, examined several different types of “random walks” (typically used in stochastic modeling), and revamped and redesigned the University of Notre Dame’s Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Biocomplexity teacher website: Computational Biomodeling. The student member of the group was B. Bahr and the teacher members of the biocomplexity group were Michael Sinclair and Helene Dauerty.
The CMS Data Group analyzed 2000 dimuon events, 500,000 top candidate events and 500,000 simulated top background events during the summer of 2014. The dimuon events were analyzed with Matlab. The top events were analyzed with C++ and ROOT. The student members of the CMS Data Group were N. Bhagat, P. Evans and L. Swartzendruber. The teacher members of the CMS Data Group were Jill Ziegler, Daniela Gayoso and Patrick Mooney.
The CRD group evaluated all detectors at the QuarkNet Center. This included making sure the voltages were at their optimum setting, checking connections and looking for light leaks. We now have 5 complete sets for classroom use. The group also conducted an elevation study at Jordan Science Hall to check for Cosmic Rate changes at different floors. The last study we conducted was calculating the speed of a muon. The teachers involved in this study were Jeff Chorny and Ben Mullins. The two students involved were N. Lohr and M. Wheeler.