Stories of QuarkNet Teachers and Students




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Joel Eduardo Fuentes Santiago with his regional trophies


Cosmic Ray Muons: Speed and Lifetime
2012 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair

  "My research idea came to me while I read David Griffith's Introduction to Elementary Particles, where I learned about the Lorentz Factor and its use for calculating difference in time parameters depending on the speeds involved."

Joel was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He went to elementary and high school until tenth grade in a private school. During his last year there, before going to C.R.O.E.M., he used to spend his free time in the school library molding his perspective with enthralling books and studying mathematics and physics. He also dedicated his time to study and practice languages to speak more than one language. That is why he speaks fluent English, French, and Spanish, his native tongue. Also important, his biggest influences have been the works of Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.

He attends Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas de Mayaguez (C.R.O.E.M.), a boarding school specialized in science and mathematics. Little did he know that the physics laboratory had a muon detector. After receiving Newcomer of the Year at school and some recommendations, he was able to work with the particle physics team and start his own research project. His interest for particle physics blossomed during the last summer, where he read The Quantum World by Kenneth W. Ford. Feynman, Planck, Rutherford, Einstein, Lorentz, Schrodinger, Louis-Victor de Broglie, Carl David Anderson, and many more became more than an inspiration for him to start working in this field. His interest for the quantum world is fueled by the mysteries and uncertainties that surround it.

In college, he plans to study theoretical physics and mathematics. As a professional, working at Fermilab, CERN or the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory would be very favorable. He wishes to uncover the remaining mysteries of the universe and promote interest in particle physics to children and students of the next generation.


University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez Center