UIC QuarkNet


Welcome to UIC QuarkNet

UIC QuarkNet

Our High Energy Physics group's Quarknet program introduces high school teachers and their students to high energy physics. Since 2000, we have held Summer workshops at UIC. The central focus of our program is the design, setup and operation of cosmic ray detectors in high school classrooms.

Teachers and students have constructed their own detetors and have used them to detect cosmic rays from exploding stars to measure:

  1. the lifetime of an elementary particle, the muon
  2. cosmic ray rates versus incoming direction on a computer-controlled rotating table
  3. Einstein's time dilation using a portable muon telescope transported to the roof of the Sears Tower
  4. established the Chicago Large Air Shower Array CLASA telescope - a detector located in classrooms of Chicagoland high schools, that observes very high energy cosmic rays interacting in the upper atmosphere.
  5. the speed of muons - the maximum speed in the universe, the speed of light
  6. internal structure of cosmic ray air showers using the multiplicity of muons as a function of separation

Our teachers have also contributed to hardware development for the High Energy Physics experiments at Fermilab and CERN. They analyzed dimuon data from the CMS experiment during workshops.

The CMS experiment is located at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC has produced proton-proton collisions at energies 4 times the level available at the world's previous highest energy collider, The Tevatron at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois. CMS is undergoing an upgrade. Beam will return at 10 TeV cemter of mass next year.