Rice University/University of Houston Quarknet center annual report for 2016
We had two Saturday physics events during the fall of 2015. One was on
September 19 and was titled "The Physics of Sound and Music", and the second was on
October 17 and was on the topic of high temperature superconductors. The talk about
sound and music was especially popular, with approximately 180 students in
At the end of the fall semester, University of Houston outreach coordinator
Robert Dubois retired and moved to New Mexico. We were unable to regroup in time to
organize more Saturday Physics events during the spring of 2016, but hope to host
two or three events during the fall of 2016.
We held a CMS master class at Carnegie Vanguard school in March of 2016. We had
about 25 students participating in the all-day event. Professors Frank Geurts and
Marj Corcoran gave a lecture about the standard model and helped the students work
with the CMS data.
A one-week workshop was held on the Rice campus from June 6-10,
2016. We had 17 teachers in attendance each day. This year we received special
permission from Quarknet to host more than 15 teachers due to the
number of inquiries we had this year (thanks very much!). Quarknet Fellow Marla
Glover showed the teachers the CMS Master Class on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had a
series of very interesting and well-received talks over the course of the week.
Professor Mustafa Amin, a cosmologist at Rice, gave a talk about dark matter.
Professor Larry Pinsky from the University of Houston talked about the CERN@school
program in the UK, and ideas about extending the program to the US. We had two talks
about medical physics--one from a former Rice Ph. D. student, focussing on proton
therapy for cancer. The second talk dealt with various types of medical imaging.
We also spent three afternoons working with cosmic ray detectors. One of our
new teachers, Thomas Etienne, has taken over the detector from Dobie High School
(formerly Jeanne Parlangeli's detector). The Dobie HS detector had problems which we
were able to trace to the DAQ card. Later in the summer Marj Corcoran was at
Fermilab and was able to exchange the broken DAQ card for a working one.
One of our teachers, Robert Schenke of Carnegie Vanguard HS, is retiring this year,
and returned his detector to Rice.
One of our Quarknet teachers, Mary Yarbray, attended the Data Camp at Fermilab in July.
Another of our teachers, Jason Williamson, was selected to attend the Summer Academy
in Greece. Marj saw Mary at Fermilab in July, were she was very much enjoying the
program. Jason has promised to tell the rest of the group all about the trip to
Greece at our workshop next June.