October 1, 2017.
The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collides charged nuclei of atoms to replicate the beginning of the universe: high-energy density environments of quarks, gluons, and leptons. The resulting particles released from the collisions provide insight to the behavior of the universe millionths of a second after the Big Bang. Capturing information about the particles released from the collisions require extreme precision that is provided by a project the ALICE team is collaborating on called the Fast Interaction Trigger (FIT). The FIT upgrades will replace the current triggers at the ALICE experiment, enabling selection of the most interesting collisions/ events that require further analysis. Our task is to become familiar with, edit the software for, and plot the results from a piece of equipment called the desktop digitizer. By using the digitizer to measure the signal from an Avalanche Photodiode, a type of photon detector, CERN physicists will be able to use these methods for the micro-channel-plate photomultiplier detectors involved in FIT. With the upgraded trigger detector, ALICE will be able make more accurate and precise measurements, furthering our knowledge about the high density matter from which our Universe evolved. CERN is where theory meets experiment for particle physics, and with new developments and upgrades such as FIT, yesterday’s hypotheses can become tomorrow’s knowledge.
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)
The 2017 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University, in partnership with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.