Quarknet Summer Research

Research Summaries:



Summer 2008

Quartz Plate Preparation

The summer of 2008 found the Iowa Quarknet group preparing Quartz plates for testing at CERN. Students and Mr. Bruecken machined plate carriers, polished the quartz to PMT interface and mounted the PMT’s to the plates. The summer flood of 2008 closed The University of Iowa campus and displaced the group to Fermi Lab for the final assembly of the plates.

The Quartz plates were coated with light enhancing materials to increase their sensitivity to particle interaction. The polished surface ensured maximum transfer of light to the PMT detector.
[Image: Brittaney polishes the edge of a quartz plate]

Each plate had to be mounted to a frame to hold the PMT in close contact with the plate. Each frame was machined to match the plate and PMT. The entire plate/PMT assembly was wrapped in a light tight envelope for the test.
[Image: Mr. Bruecken machines parts for the quartz plates]

HALO Detector

Students worked with Dr. Ed Norbeck on a detector that would sense the direction of a particle. This detector was intended to mount outside the beam (in its “halo” ) to detect spontaneous particle production due to the intense field strength outside the accelerator tube at CERN.

The Quarknet Cosmic Ray Muon Detector counters were used to detect the presence of Moon beams to trigger the HALO detector (in the box). The output of the HALO detector was tested to determine if it sensed the direction of the Muons as detected by the counters.
[Image: The HALO detector between 2 CRMD counters]

Light Guide “Cookie”

Another CERN group needed an interface between their fibers and detectors. The Quarknet group synthesized “cookie” interface with light guides to mount between the fibers and the detectors.

This was the initial phase of synthesis where clear plastic fibers were cemented to a Delrin mount. The pattern matched the fibers in the detector at CERN and linked them to their electronic light sensors. The cookie was then machined and polished.
[Image: The beginning of the “cookie” fabrication]