QuarkNet holds Masterclasses in particle physics for high school students

Author: Jayme Russell

Quarknet Masterclass

The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center is hosting three days of international, collaborative Masterclasses for local high school students to give them the opportunity to become particle physicists for a day. Around 210 universities and research facilities participate in these international Masterclasses, and Notre Dame is the only university in the U.S. to host more than one Masterclass.

Worldwide, these Masterclasses take place in twenty-eight different countries and involve more than 6,000 student participants. The Masterclasses include hands-on experimentation to gather statistics, visual identification and classification of particle physics data, and videoconferencing to discuss the data with moderators at CERN and Fermilab.

QuarkNet Masterclass

On March 12 and 13 at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, Daniel Karmgard, research assistant professor of physics, explained a variety of topics, from why particle accelerators are so large to how small quarks really are. Ken Cecire, member of the QuarkNet staff at Notre Dame, hosted the video conference at Fermilab, which allowed students to learn more about particle accelerators and analyze real field data.

The third Masterclass will be held on March 21 at the QuarkNet Center. Overall, more than fifty students from Trinity School at Greenlawn, Riley High School, Adams High School, and Winamac Community High School will participate in the Masterclasses.