A brief introduction to quarknet and particle physics
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A Brief Introduction to Quarknet and Particle Physics. Mike Strauss. Outline. An introduction to Quarknet Some Themes for the Week The Particles and Forces of Nature The Nature of Science Particle Physics Experiments Other Good Stuff Connection to Cosmology OU/OSU Involvement. QuarkNet.

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Outline l.jpg

  • An introduction to Quarknet

  • Some Themes for the Week

    • The Particles and Forces of Nature

    • The Nature of Science

    • Particle Physics Experiments

  • Other Good Stuff

    • Connection to Cosmology

    • OU/OSU Involvement

Quarknet l.jpg

  • A program to connect high school teachers with people doing research in Elementary Particle Physics (or High Energy Physics)

    • Provide resources to teachers

    • Assist in bringing HEP into the classroom

    • Assist in improving science education

  • Sponsored by NSF and DOE

  • Centered at Fermilab

  • http://quarknet.fnal.gov/

  • Begun in 1999

  • About 50 participating universities

  • Quarknet at ou and osu l.jpg
    Quarknet at OU and OSU

    • OU was one of the first 12 universities to be chosen to participate in Quarknet in 1999.

    • Approximately 40 teachers have participated

    • An ongoing program offering teachers the opportunity to participate annually

      • We usually offer an annual one week program

      • Research opportunities available

      • Opportunities at Fermilab and CERN

    • OSU joined Quarknet in 2006

      • Ongoing collaboration between OU and OSU in physics research and Quarknet

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    This Week

    • Talks/Discussion on Particle Physics

    • Activities that teach particle physics and can be used in your classroom

    The structure of matter l.jpg
    The Structure of Matter

    • Evidence for quarks was seen in the late 1960’s and fully confirmed by 1974

    • What should every high school student (or science teacher) know about the structure of matter?

    The standard model of particles and fields l.jpg
    The Standard Model of Particles and Fields





    • The standard model also includes one undiscovered particle, the Higgs Boson

    • The standard model does not include the force of gravity

    • Every particle also has an associated anti-particle

    Hadrons l.jpg

    “All science is either physics or stamp collecting” – Ernest Rutherford

    • Any particle made of quarks, like a neutron or proton, is called a “Hadron”

    • We will present a lot of new nomenclature in the next week.

    The nature of science l.jpg
    The Nature of Science

    • What is science?

    • How would the average student answer this question?

      • Is there a problem with how they would answer the question? If so, what?

      • How can we address any of these problems?

    • Observations about the presentation of the standard model in this talk?

      • Is the standard model correct?

      • How do we know?

    How do we know about these small particles l.jpg
    How do we know about these small particles?

    Smash stuff together!!

    λ 1/E

    This field of research is called “Elementary Particle Physics” or “High Energy Physics”

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    Current HEP Laboratories

    CERN (Geneva, Switzerland)

    KEK (Tsukuba, Japan)

    Fermilab (Chicago, Illinois)

    DESY (Hamburg, Germany)

    The large hadron collider l.jpg
    The Large Hadron Collider

    Housed in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference 300 feet underground on the French Swiss border

    Slide13 l.jpg

    The ATLAS detector:

    A large camera to “see” subatomic particles.

    Most particles created in the proton-proton collisions decay very quickly, and the detector sees the debris (primary and secondary particles) from the collision.

    A torodial lhc apparatus l.jpg

    Width: 44 m

    Diameter: 22 m

    Weight: 7000 tons

    A Torodial LHC ApparatuS

    Also when particles collide l.jpg
    Also when particles collide



    Energy of motion (kinetic energy) can be changed into new particles with mass. The more kinetic energy, the more massive the new particles can be.

    Slide16 l.jpg

    Connection to Cosmology




    10-13 Seconds

    Now (14 billion years)

    Stars form (1 billion years)

    Atoms form (400,000 years)

    Nuclei form (3 minutes)

    Protons and neutrons form (10-10 seconds)

    Quarks differentiate

    (10-34 seconds?)

    ??? (Before that)

    Ou and osu l.jpg
    OU and OSU

    HEP is primarily done within large international collaborations

    • DØ at Fermilab: 500 physicists from 19 countries and 83 institutions

    • ATLAS at CERN: 3000 physicists from 37 countries and 137 institutions

    Day to day experimental hep details l.jpg
    Day to day experimental HEP details

    • What we do:

      • Build and test hardware

      • Develop and test software

      • Analyze data

    • Where we do it:

      • Much work can be done in Oklahoma via internet and videoconferencing

      • Travel to the lab and conferences is required

      • Graduate students and postdocs at lab

    Questions l.jpg

    This talk has been a very brief introduction to this week’s content. We will visit all these subjects in more detail as the week progresses.