Manual Introduction to experimental particle physics

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In addition, the most recently convened HEPAP subpanel has been charged with, among other things, examining and making recommendations concerning the health and strength of the university component of the EPP program. Its report is expected in February As discussed above, new large-scale experimental facilities will necessarily be international efforts. A likely scenario in the coming decades is one where a major portion of the high-energy physics research program will be concentrated at an international facility in which the United States is a major partner.

This facility might or might not be located in the United States. More thought must be given to how such an international facility might be organized and administered and what impact participation in a large-scale international facility would have on the balance of the U. If the United States is to participate fully in an international facility in the future, new administrative frameworks will be necessary.

It is important that these be carefully thought through as early as possible. It is also true that elementary-particle physics projects now represent large and costly multiyear commitments. In recent history, such projects have been funded through the annual congressional appropriations process, without prior congressional authorization. This situation has hampered the efficient completion of some projects and, if it were to persist, would complicate U. To carry out the best physics program possible with a fixed amount of funds, it is necessary to identify and pursue only the most promising opportunities.

Pursuit of compelling new initiatives may require that some very interesting programs are either significantly delayed or never initiated and that others are terminated even while they are still productive. It is therefore extremely important that priorities are set in a way that optimizes scientific progress within the. The Drell panel report p. Diversity, competition and alternative approaches to common scientific goals are necessary for maintaining the strength of the high-energy physics program.

Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics

However, it is wasteful to duplicate instruments and experiments without strong scientific and technical arguments. Plans must be carefully coordinated, particularly among national laboratories. The setting of priorities in elementary-particle physics is done at two levels. At each accelerator laboratory, management receives advice from its program advisory committee and chooses the best projects and programs that fit within its expected budget. Then at the national level, the two funding agencies fashion a national program out of these components based on advice on priorities from HEPAP and related subpanels.

Over the past 20 years, this process has left a number of very interesting projects unstarted or terminated because of hard decisions about priorities. In addition, the start of a dedicated experiment for bottom quark physics at FNAL has been delayed. It is fully expected that priority choices will continue to be required over the next few years, and additional program reductions will occur as new facilities begin operation. There is some concern within the EPP community that existing administrative structures may not have kept pace with the above changes.

In addition, it appears that EPP will face a number of critical issues in the coming years. As new information is acquired from ongoing experiments and progress is made in theoretical understanding, continuing adjustments to the overall objectives of the field will be required. Fashioning a viable and vital domestic program complementary to that at the LHC while contemplating the construction of a possible new facility will be an important challenge.

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

The situation will likely depend on where the next facility is located. International collaboration and participation in new construction will continue to be critical issues for the field. After reviewing many of the issues described in this section, the Drell panel report p. Given these circumstances, the subpanel believes a thorough review of governance of the field is in order and should be undertaken by the supporting government agencies, the Department of Energy and the National Science.

Foundation, in cooperation with the community through the American Physical Society's Division of Particles and Fields. As yet, no such review of these very difficult issues has taken place, and it is probably still in order. There will be a need for continuing advice on these issues to Congress and the federal agencies that support research in this area, and a committee of the Board of Physics and Astronomy which already has various standing committees in other areas might be an appropriate avenue. An appropriately constituted committee would work with the agencies to undertake a comprehensive review of the system of administration of the research program in elementary-particle physics, to study the implications of increased internationalization of the field, and to explore possible alternative administrative and advisory mechanisms to respond to the changing environment.

When a country pursues excellence in particle physics research, there are many educational benefits. Early in life, children are attracted to science because it attempts to find answers to such fundamental questions as: What is the world made of? How did the universe begin? Will it ever end? Recognizing that answers to these and similar questions can be found through science, many are motivated to pursue studies in the physical sciences and mathematics.

Course description

If seeking the answers to these questions is one of a nation's goals, and therefore socially encouraged, it provides a strong stimulus to scientifically oriented education. Not many of the children will end up studying particle physics, but they are more likely to obtain a solid grounding in science and mathematics that leaves them better prepared to cope with the modern technological world.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows play a vital role in particle physics and also receive many educational benefits. They receive hands-on experience in the international high-tech environment of large centers and learn from direct contact with a staff experienced in many different technologies.

They also learn to follow tight schedules and strict quality requirements, while facing stiff competition from other experiments. The annual number of graduating Ph. More than half of these students choose to pursue careers outside particle physics. They enter such diverse fields as the chemical or pharmaceutical industries, communications, computing and networking, the medical industry, investment banking, and the electronic components industry. They carry with them an ability to think logically, to solve problems, and to work effectively in collabora-.


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This continuing outflow of students into industry represents an efficient form of technology transfer. Research in basic science, of which elementary-particle physics is a major component, constitutes a substantial public investment in the foundations of our culture and in the well-being and technological advances of future generations. Far from being self-evident, the motivations, excitement, and significance of this endeavor must be communicated to the public.

The important task of communication and outreach to the public can be achieved only in a collaborative effort among the media, schools, universities, and national laboratories. In the post-Cold War, post-SSC era, many elementary-particle physicists became convinced of the need to redouble efforts to communicate effectively to the public. This effort, which is a core responsibility of the scientific community, must go on continuously to build a base of understanding.

In the past, communication with the public often occurred only sporadically e. Very substantial efforts are already under way, and there exists a need to build on these existing activities. An example of an attempt to foster greater understanding among the general public of the meaning and significance of scientific results is the "plain English" program recently initiated by the DO experimental collaboration. As part of the normal publication process, collaborators explain new results and make clear how they fit into the picture of current particle physics research in language understandable to nonphysicists.

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Thus far, the response, especially from science reporters, has been enthusiastic. The national laboratories involved in particle physics research have also been influential in fostering science at the high school or college level.

Most of these laboratories have programs aimed at bringing high school and college students into a research setting, putting them in contact with frontier researchers, and exposing them to real research environments. At some of these laboratories, such programs are geared toward groups, such as women or minorities, that have traditionally been underrepresented in science. In addition, the laboratories have special programs for high school teachers, which allow them to update their own training and then transfer that knowledge to students. This group has created the wall chart on Fundamental Particles and Interactions and distributed more than , copies to U.

It also has very popular color software for high school and college students. Packets of classroom activities about particle physics have been mailed to every high school physics teacher in the United States. Part of the Physics in a New Era series of assessments of the various branches of the field, Elementary-Particle Physics reviews progress in the field over the past 10 years and recommends actions needed to address the key questions that remain unanswered. It explains in simple terms the present picture of how matter is constructed.

As physicists have probed ever deeper into the structure of matter, they have begun to explore one of the most fundamental questions that one can ask about the universe: What gives matter its mass? A new international accelerator to be built at the European laboratory CERN will begin to explore some of the mechanisms proposed to give matter its heft.

The committee recommends full U.

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Particle Physics-abstracts

Get This Book. Visit NAP. Looking for other ways to read this? No thanks. Other leptons, such as electrons and neutrinos are also emitted, but the muons have a higher energy so are more likely to make it down to the Earth's surface. These showers are happening all the time. About particles pass through your body each minute!

A Crash Course In Particle Physics (1 of 2)

The picture to the left illustrates a cosmic ray shower. The yellow streak is the proton, the red and purple streaks are pions and the others are leptons. The white squiggly lines are electromagnetic radiation, such as photons. We said about that the muons and electrons were negatively charged, so the positive charge indicated that it is the anti-particle. As far as decays are concerned, the anti-particle behaves the same way as the particle would. The simple answer is that we study muons because we can. Muons from cosmic rays are relatively easy to detect.