QuarkNet an der Elbe: Prepping and Testing

It is that kind of week: not much direct excitement but getting ready for things to happen and figuring out what works. Next week, I'll be in Magdeburg with some of my Institute colleagues for a Netzwerk Teilchenwelt "Vermittler Workshop."  This will be a chance to work with physicists, grad students, and others on how to bring particle physics into the high schools. For my part, I will talk about CMS masterclasses and CIMA. If you have any ideas for me, send them before November 27.*

Speaking of CIMA, we had a sort of transatlantic "stress test" between QuarkNet LHC fellows and some of us here in Germany. We loaded up random, that is, fake, "data" at the same time and noted any problems, slowdowns, etc. CIMA passed with flying colors if by "flying" you mean "mostly soaring high but occassionally skimming the treetops and getting twigs in your ailerons". That is to say, CIMA worked well but there are still reasons to say it is in development. [Breaking news! Developer Michael Soiron at the University of Aachen has already made several improvements based on the stress test!] So the work continues even as we use and test our new product. Still speaking of CIMA...check out the article in the latest CERN Bulletin.

Speaking of CERN and being transatlantic, another item for which I and others are preparing is a CMS Virtual Visit. This will take place on Saturday, mostly at the Virginia QuarkNet meeting but also at several schools in the US eastern time zone and, of course, CERN. Until the LHC turns back on, CMS Virtual Visits feature tours of the CMS cavern. How cool is that? Learn more here. (The teaser video alone is worth the click.)

Still speaking of transatlantic stuff, here is another thing for which I am preparing: next month, I will lead a series of three seminars for TU Dresden pre-service physics teachers. (Stop laughing.) The first one is December 1 and all I can say right now is that it will involve dropping papers on the floor. The second, on December 8, is about particle physics in the classroom. The transatlantic part comes in the third seminar on December 15, when a panel of QuarkNet teachers will connect via Vidyo so the participants can converse directly with some real experts.

I'll keep you posted on all of these. In the meantime, I leave you with sticky notes.

A TU Dresden physics student and I tried out the CMS masterclass mass plot on the office window. The bin width here is a little high, so you really cannot pick out the J/Psi and Upsilon. It does make a nice window decoration, though.

IKTP particle physicist Frank Siegert made this video with these two graduate students to demonstrate numerical intergration using the skyline of Leipzig. The "low-res" version is here. You can use the results to find the ratio of areas of the two kinds of sticky - and who would not want to do that?

* Yes, Thanksgiving. In Germany, they call this "Donnerstag".