2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page
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||Calibrating an Electromagnetic Calorimeter for High Energy Physics Experiments
||By getting involved with large research collaborations at national laboratories, undergraduates and faculty at small liberal arts colleges can work with cutting edge detecting technologies that would ordinarily be far beyond the budgets of their institutions. One example of this is the membership of Muhlenberg College in the PHENIX collaboration, a collection of over 500 scientists from 15 countries. Muhlenberg's activities include calibrating the PHENIX "Muon Piston Calorimeter", a homogeneous electromagnetic calorimeter, for the measurement of electromagnetically interacting particles (such as photons and electrons) produced in the collision of gold nuclei traveling very close to the speed of light. One method to calibrate electromagnetic calorimeters involves the use of photons from the decay of neutral pions. Continuing work on producing these calibrations has been the subject of many undergraduate summer research projects and independent research projects during the academic year. These activities will be described, as will the plausibility of abstracting elements of the calibration process for use in a modern physics, nuclear and particle physics, or advanced laboratory classes using simulated data and simplified detector simulations on standalone computers. This work is made possible with the generous support of the NSF Foundation, award NSF-RUI 1209240.
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