An Institutional Proposal for QuarkNet Participation

Section I - General Information

Institution: Florida State University
Group/Department: HEP group, Physics Department
Address: Florida State University Keen Building,
City, State: Tallahassee, FL
Zip: 32306-4350
Local QuarkNet Leader(s):

Local QuarkNet Participants are: Susan Blessing, Harrison Prosper, Laura Reina, Horst Wahl

E-mail addresses for these participants are:,,,

Phone numbers: 850-644-1492, 850-644-6735

The outreach narrative:
Members of our group have contributed to many outreach programs, among them the following:
* Young Scholars' Program: Outstanding Florida high school students spend the summer at FSU, for special classes and participation in research program under the guidance of a mentor. Susan Blessing, Harrison Prosper and Horst Wahl have acted as mentors for high school students. Susan Blessing has also given class lectures.

* Saturday Morning Physics: On Saturdays every Fall, a lecture and demonstration program is organized by the Physics Department, which is taylored to high school students. Harrison Prosper has been in charge of this program for three years, and all of us have participated by giving lectures.

* Physics Department Open House: this biennial event provides lectures, demonstrations, planetarium shows and hands-on experiments for local children and their parents. All of us have contributed to this by taking responsibilty for part of the program.

* Regional Science Fairs: We have acted as judges at (and consultants for) science fairs.

* personal contacts with local science teachers: we have given guest lectures in local schools, participated in school projects, or given special planetarium shows for young students.

Section II - Summer Research Information

Our research is of type:

The research narrative:
Within the framework of our group's contribution to the Dzero experiment at Fermilab, there are many research projects in which high school teachers could make a worthwhile contribution and at the same time learn something interesting. All of them require familiarity with computers and/or the willingness to learn. We would teach them whatever they need to know and/or provide them with opportunities to acquire the necessary skills. We plan to engage our high school science teacher colleagues in well-defined roles in these projects, depending on their tastes and predilections, and they will work together with faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

We are working on a major project to build a device, called the Silicon Track Trigger, to identify online the tracks produced by particles containing b-quarks. An important goal of our group is to develop a fast algorithm to find clusters of hits, from which the tracks can be made. To aid in the optimization of this algorithm, we plan to develop a simple visualization tool, based on readily available software, to display the hits and clusters. We also need a way to simulate the data stream that will enter the hardware processor in which the algorithm will be executed. We have begun work on such a simulation and we expect this will provide valuable opportunities for our science teacher colleagues to learn about algorithm development and testing. We shall also begin work on the design and prototyping of programs to monitor the status of some aspects of the Silicon Track Trigger. Our principal tools will be the high-level object-oriented language python and its associated software modules. In all of these projects, the high school teacher could play an important role and make a clear impact. The principal mentors for these projects would be Harrison Prosper and Horst Wahl.

Another area where the help of a high school teacher would be welcome and useful for both sides is the simulation of physics processes of interest in the future exploitation of the D0 detector, and connected to this, the development of search strategies for "new physics". The teacher could help in running existing software packages to generate events, simulate the response of the D0 detector to these events, and interpret the results with the aim of understanding how to optimally recognize these interesting events, and how to distinguish them from the less interesting "background". The principal mentors for this would be Susan Blessing and Laura Reina.

This research is associated with the D0 collaboration(s).

The teachers will work and be housed at or near Fermilab.

Should Fermilab arrange housing? Not yet

Section III - Signatures

The undersigned individuals and their institution apply to become an active QuarkNet center. Upon acceptance, the center will:
actively mentor two teachers during the eight-week, summer 1999 research experience.
host those teachers at academic year meetings for the planning and development of a three-week research experience for up to ten of their colleagues.

recruit that second group of teachers and host their research appointment.

provide timely information for the completion of annual reports upon request.

continue to support the work of these dozen or so teachers beyond the initial two years of the center's existence.

Local QuarkNet Participants
Signature Name



Susan Blessing  



Harrison Prosper  



Laura Reina  



Horst Wahl  

The application is also supported by the undersigned non-participants.

Signature Name Title



Kirby Kemper  


An electronic copy of your proposal has been sent to Tom Jordan ( at Fermilab and,,,

Please mail a signed hard copy of this page to:

Thomas Jordan
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Mail Stop 226
Box 500
Batavia, Illinois

You may also wish to make a hardcopy for your records.

Return to the QuarkNet Proposal Form.