This page is the link for all of my activities during my 3 weeks at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Monday July 4th
Today we watched several videos about CERN and the experiments going on here. General background information about CERN and the surrounding area.
This was all done in the globe which is a new building at CERN that was origionaly constructed for the Swiss EXPO about 120 km from here. After the expo, the globe was dismantled and stored. For The 50th anavirsary of CERN, the swiss govt. gave the building to CERN which is considered International territory. The Swiss Army reassembled the building and we are the first group to have our meetings there.
In the first floor of the globe is an interactive exhibit for the public, very cool digital interactives, videos, a giant mouseball timeline, a cool surround video in english and french. We evaluated it for them as educators.
We also go to go see the two offices where the gentlemen worked when they first decided to share files from computer to computer, the offices were next door to each other. this procedure was the birth of the World Wide Web. The first web server, (ever) is on display in the globe.
Question for the day?? Why do we model atoms, subatomic particles, and fundimental particles as spheres????
Great news today, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is shut down for a week for routine maintainence. We are going to be able to go down into the tunnels where everything is, way cool!!!

Tuesday July 5th
Great day today, we started with a tour of LHCb which is a b meson detector. The detector sits in the chamber that used to belong to the Delphi experiment. LHCb is a unidirectional detector that man measure the speed, tracking, momentum, and energy of the particle from a proton-proton collision. At CERN, there are two proton beams going in opposite directions in two separate tubes. The protons collide at the detectors as the paths are crossed in the detector chamber. So for those of you who remember, "don't cross the streams", at CERN they cross the streams. LHCb is looking specifically at b meson and anti b meson interactions and behavior.
Also went to see SALT which is an axion telescope which follows the sun to try to detect axion particles emitted from the sun. The theory is that the axion particles are responsible for the massive temperature drop across the sun. The telescope is actually a tube from the LHC that didn't meet specks, and the rest of the detector and the electronics are all scrap parts from the accelerators. It is nor running right now, but everything is in place to restart when fesable.
Our lecture for the day was from Dr. Rolf Landua who is the head of physics education at CERN. First of four lectures about particle physics and the standard model. good information and presented an argument for vacuum-vacuum interactions???? Finished with a swim and a group meal at a pizza place. Here is a link for photos and blog of a teacher from Canada who is a journalist as well.
CERN blog Peter Vogel

Wednesday July 6th
My head is starting to reach overload, so much information, Very interesting, but no time to process. Good thing we have some hands on activities tomorrow.
We started today with a lecture about particle detectors from Dr. Frank Hartmann, the guy who built the CMS (Compact Muon Solinoid) detector. He is an awesome presenter and had some great information about the detector. The CMS projects is looking for the Higgs Boson which would be the particle that gives Mass to Matter. It is the last particle needed to prove Einsteins theory of Relativity. We did half of his presentation today, and will do the other half tomorrow. After that we went into the main Auditorium to hear the Director Dr. Rolf Heuer give his welcome. the Auditorium is the same where all of the famous physicist have presented, including Einstein, Hawking, etc. His presentation outlined the goals of CERN, and the role of CERN in the world. He also presented a bunch of information including a slide that may contain the results showing a Higgs boson.
After lunch we went to CMS where we were able to travel underground 100M and see the CMS detector. Very cool stuff. Like I said, tired tonight and ready for a break.

Thursday July 7th
Feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep, except my room drifted into a worm hole and my phone reset itself for 2 hours ahead but back to November 11, 2010???? The final result, my alarm went off at 5 am instead of 7 am, and i was up from then on. Hands-on day today involved a cloud chamber lab this morning, hard to believe that could chambers were tools that unlocked quantum physics!! We then had a lecture and discussion about the mathematics that explain quantum oscillations, very cool stuff, the lecture was given by Goron Jones who is a published particle physicist from Whales in the UK. He is a longtime contributor to the HST program and is here with us this year. It's been a while since I tried to work with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
We also had our third lecture on the standard model and particle physics along with the second half of our detectors lecture. Again, discussing things like the CMS detector with the guy who was one of the directors of the program, and discussions with published authors, it is really humbling to be around them, yet, you can eat lunch next to the director General here at CERN and he will be happy to discuss anything you wish to.
While we were eating dinner, John Ellis, one of the leading theoretical physicists in the world, walked past our table. Didn't get to speak with him, but probably will during the next two weeks. We are also going to have a discussion with one half of the team that communicated over the WWW for the very first time.
Our new challenge as a class, work the phrase Higgs Boson into all of our conversations. Revisit the CERN blog from above as Peter updates the Blog every day.
CERN blog Peter Vogel
Friday July 8th
At writing, the first week of the HST 2011 program at CERN is in the books, and what a week it has been. Our schedule yesterday included the final introductory particle physics lectures with Rolf Landua, a look at the CERN teachers lab, a visit to the CMS and ATLAS offices, and a lecture discussion with Goron about how we can mathematically ignore mass and the "2"s (square relationships) when we work with particles due to the speed of particle collisions being at the speed of light. We followed all of the lecture up with a question and answer session about particle physics and i wanted to record a few of the "big picture" ideas.
What are the particles we should make sure our students understand if we have a limited time to teach them modern physics? The up quark, the down quark, and the electron make up all matter that we see in everyday life. If you add the neutrino, you have the particle(s) that cause fusion and radiation for energy from the sun. All of the rest of the particles are responsible for the existance of the universe and the study of them will allow us to understand the rules of matter in the universe.
What is the significance of the Higgs Boson? The Higgs Boson is the particle that will explain the masses of all of the other particles that have mass. Right now we have a "random mess" of masses with no apparent reason for the wide disparity in the different masses of the particles. The Higgs field is predicted to establish rules for mass and how the Higgs Boson carries the mass. Truth be told, researchers are hoping to find something that is similar to the Higgs Boson, but not exactly. Hopefully the Higgs will exist but in a way that unlocks the next puzzle, not necessarily complete it.
Relativistic Mass: A long premise in modern physics has been that as you approach the speed of light, the mass of the object must change. We have discussed that mass doesn't change. The relationship behaves "as if" the mass changes, but it doesn't"
Lastly, one of the largest benefits from this experience has been meeting the other 48 teachers from around the world, and all of the people we meet within our visit. We have had discussions from "education and politics", "student tracking", "curriculum and college prep", "Standards", "classroom management", "language barriers", "dealing with students", "dealing with parents", ...... incredible. Peter, from Kenya, and I have had many discussions. While discussing hands-on investigations and students,
he said, "my students tell me, "You are the teacher, you are supposed to be teaching us", because I am not doing the work for them." " If you go to a university, your professors will not care if you do the work, in high school we make them do the work so they can learn how to learn."
If I had a dollar for every time I had this discussion with students and parents in America, well, I would have several dollars. It doesn't matter where we go, things are very much the same, except international students are studying physics to improve their lives and get an education, while American students seem to not want to pursue physics due to the math?? I guess we have to keep working on that.
To end the week, we did a physics/chemistry interactive on the patio of the restaurant using dry ice demonstrations. We did soapy bubbles, steamy water, rockets, frozen fruit, and hovering glass on a table. It was a lot of fun, our last rocket went at least 50M high.
If anything is worth the time I am missing away from my family, this is it. So rewarding.

Tuesday July 12th.
For those of you keeping track, you may notice that my Monday July 11th entry is missing. That is an interesting story. It was not an oversite, rather a lack of time. Since we arrived at CERN, the LHC (large hadron collider) has been in a technical shutdown allowing for repairs and adjustments to the collider and detectors. These are sheduled 3 times a year, and as a result, my group was able to go underground to see the experiments, which we would not have done if the beam was energized.
On Saturday, they began the process of starting the beam, which is an extensive process that requires a bunch of safety checks. On Sunday, as they we reaching the point to begin "loading" the beam, we had a thunder storm roll through the valley. It was very impressive with a lot of lightening, thunder, rain, etc. During the storm, the power blinked, and then went out for a few minutes. The LHC has a dedicated 200 MW line coming onto the site, and one of the safety systems dumps the beam in the event of a power outage that would cause problems. These detectors sensed the power blink on part of the accelerator, and shut it down. As a backup, the accelerator shifts power from the rest of CERN shutting down all no esssential power to ensure the systems of the accelerator and detectors have power. One of the non-essential systems was the internet in the hotel. It was off until Monday evening while they restarted all the access points, routers, servers, etc. I did not get back from my bicycle outing in France until 10:30 pm when the internet was restored, and did not get my entry in before I went to sleep, which brings us to now.
We just divided into our work groups to start on the projects we will do over the next two weeks. I am going to design a screen saver/ app that shows particle collisions in a detector/bubble chamber in color that animates the collision slowly and puts labes on so you can see what is happening. I see using this as a way to gain interest in the physics using the beautiful collision pictures explained in a very simple way. I am also giving input to an Inquiry Based educaiton work group that is going to design Inquiry based activities for particle physics. (send me ideas if you have them, I'll pass them on to the group) We have been attending lectures and discussions over the last two days on Accelerators, Cosmology, Accelerator Physics, and organization of the standard model. We will tour the superconductor test facility and the linear accelerator soon, but I am not sure when. Much of our remaining time will be spent in our work groups.
My time here is almost 1/2 way over, sad, but it will be good to return home and see my family. I would not make a very good truck driver or astronaut.

Friday, July 15th
Yesterday was Bastille Day in France which is the equivalent of the 4th of July in the US. There were fireworks visible all around Cern as the facility sits on the French/Swiss Border. We celebrated by playing a friendly game of football (soccer). You can really tell who grew up playing soccer and who didn’t. After the game, I spent a couple hours with ice on my knees. I am getting old.
We have been spending most of our time in our work groups and I have animated the first of the bubble chamber slides. My goal is to create animations that provide enough information to spark the interest of our students if they were to come into the class and see this on the front board as part of a screen saver. Still have some work to do to create the final product, but I have a process figured out for how to start.
Yesterday we had a presentation by a physicist from ATLAS (one of the main experiments at CERN) and he has been developing interactive software for the ATLAS experiment including some incredible visualizations of collisions. I spoke with him afterwards, and he is going to do screen savers that are downloadable, so, that part of my work group is done!!! I will attach a link to the page that shows everything.
We finished up our Accelerator physics lectures, and we were treated to a great Anti-matter lecture From Rolf Landua who helped the Movie crew with the “capture of anti-matter” scenes that were filmed here at CERN for the movie Angels and Demons, with Tom Hanks. Rolf even had a cameo in the film. (We are still checking on the cameo part). But he did have several pictures with the actors, crew and director Ron Howard.
Today we have lectures on the Medical Applications of Particle Physics which will discuss PET scans, MRI, and radiation treatment of Cancer. Not a fun subject to talk about sometimes, but places like CERN and Fermi Lab created the technology that is used to help people all around the world.

Camelia multimedia from ATLAS

Monday, July 18th
Woke up this morning to a constant drizzle and the sounds of weed eaters!!! I think we cashed in all of our good weather tokens over the last two weeks, time to pay the piper. Before I write about our activites this week, I wont to take a minute to tell about our weekend. We we able to rent cars and join with others who had cars to make a caravan on Saturday to Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc sits on the French-Italian border and rises to a a hight of 4810M. If you do the math, 15,873 feet above see level. We were able to take an arial tram to Aiguille Du Midi which sits at an altitude of 3842M, or 12,678 feet. The trip up took about 30 mins including the change of cars at the station 1/2 way up the mountain. The views were incredible, glaciers, Ice flows, way above the tree line!!! It was awesome. At the top was a resteraunt and observation platforms where we had lunch. As we marvaled at our courage to ride the tram to the top, that was quickly put asunder by the mountain climbers who were coming up the mountain from the lower tram, and from teh climbers who were coming down from their assents to the summit. Incredible. After returning to Chamonix at the base of the mountain, we traveled again by car, through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy. We went through a dozen more tunnels in Italy before arriving in Aosta where we had dinner. My car took a different route home up through the mountains via St.Bernardo over a 3000m pass back into Switzerland. Absolutely breath taking views. Note to self, the Italians do very nice roads and guard rails, the Swiss, good roads, but not so much on the guard rails. All in all, a wonderful trip.
On Monday, we attended a workshop done by the Perimeter Institue out of Waterloo, Ontario. They are a foundation created to support theoretical physics research and to provide outreach to the public, teachers and students through resurces and programming. Greg and Dave gave each of us 3 different lesson/video progams to use in our classes to present Dark Matter, Wave Particle Duality, and Quantum Reality. Really good stuff. They work in conjunction with the Sudbury lab where they take teachers and students (yes students) underground every year. I discussed the possiblity of having them come down to the Black Hills sometime to do a workshop for all of the Quarknet teachers and others. They are very interested. I am sharing their web address, as most of their material and resources are available for no charge for teachers. This is something we will definately follow up on. We are spending Tueday and Wednesday working on our projects which for me means fighting with the computer trying to do these animations. I have one done, but would like to get a couple more done.
Perimeter Institute

Thursday, July 21st
The rain continues at CERN, but our efforts and spirits are not dampened, well, maybe a little. The sound of the planes leaving Geneva is a constant reminder that our time here is growing ever so short. First, an update on presentations and activities.
Yesterday we were addressed by John Ellis who is one of the leading theoretical Physicists in the world. He presented us with a summary of the "Questions of the Universe" that he thinks about on a daily basis. He shared some of his thoughts and theories about the things that are going on in the world of theoretical physics, and also presented a brief history of some of his work, including the Penguin story. For more information you can read his Bio on wikipedia and follow on to the link about the Penguin story/diagram. We all took advantage of the photo op and Jeremy ended up with the signed poster board drawing of a penguin diagram that John used in his discussion. priceless!!
Yesterday evening we had to cancel our pic-nic Jura atop the nearby mountains due to the rain and clouds. Instead we went on a visit of the Superconduction Magnet Test Facility where all of the LHC magnets were tested and lowered into the LHC tunnel. Got some great photos including the Fermi Lab KEK collaberation which are the focusing magnets used to stablize the beam before it enters a detector or the RF accelerator. Had some good fun with pictures as well, Kim from Austrailia showed her undaunted sense of humor in a number of pictures around the facility.
We also visited the CERN control room where all of the accelerators are run, probably 200 computor screens for 10 people to control the whole works. They were doing a proton bucket load while we were there so we could see them going. Very interesting. Even more monitors than Fermi. I still want a bank of monitors like that for my classroom.
We had the second lecture of the origins of science and theology from Gron Tudor Jones, who is our very own Particle Physics Buddy while we are here. He is such a wealth of information and has been so helpful in explaining everything that we are doing and hearing. As he puts it, he is just a little ole experimental physicist, but his understanding of the theory and guestions that explain all of this, is extrodinary. Tuesday night was his birthday, so we tipped a pint in celebration.
I finished my second bubble chamber animation and built my screen saver demonstration. I sent the final off to Rolf Landua to see if he has people who could finish this up to create a real screen saver out of it. This last one shows the producion of an anti-proton from anti-Omega that then anialates with an proton producing pions. Pretty cool stuff.
Tomorrow we present our final projects and the American teachers will be having lunch with the coordiators from the University of Michigan. Then a bar-b-que Friday evening, and I fly out on Saturday morning at 9:40. I have a lot to get done today, things from my European punch list, so the next two days will go fast.

CERN Education