QuarkNet 2010: Day 3

Yesterday we didn't do much building at QuarkNet.  On Tuesday there weren't enough supplies for each of us to build two alcohol reservoirs, so many of us spent a few minutes in the morning building or second reservoir.

The magnets arrived yesterday, and after lunch we installed them.  Each magnet is about 6 cm by 12 cm, and I am pretty sure Helio said they are about 500 gauss.  It was a simple install.  They had brackets already made and holes already drillled.  All we had to do was add a little silicone adhesive to help hold it in place and screw the bracket to the underside of the plate.  See?

This magnet will create a magnetic field (duh) in the alcohol fog, which will cause the charged particles to travel in a curved path.  Negative particles will curve on way, and positive particles will curve the other way.  The amount that the particles curve depend on the mass of the particle, so by studying the particles path we will be able to calculate the momentum of the particle.

The rest of yesterday was taken up by a very interesting lecture by Helio, and a Q&A session in the afternoon.  Helio's lecture was great.  He is a soft spoken man, with a good sense of humor, and he is incredibly knowledgeable.  Better still, he is good at explaining things and is very patient.  We learned a lot about particle physics, which is my favorite aspect of physics.

Today we are going to build the magnetic field sensors, and I really hope we'll get to make some clouds today.  I saw someone bring in some dry ice, so that's promising.

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