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Hunting neutrinos

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Hunting neutrinos

  1. 1. Hunting neutrinos
  2. 2. Introductory section and preparatory phase • Short Description: A new era in Astronomy and Cosmology raises. Neutrinos are gathering information from the cores of the stars, while travelling through the universe from the very beginning of the cosmos. Reaching Earth a shower of particles spreads all over the planet and scientists are hunting the “unsocial” neutrinos. Catching just one neutrino, important knowledge can be gained from the depths of stars and the initiatives of the universe. Ice cube in Antarctica is hunting neutrinos in the total “silence” of North Pole. Cherenkov radiation by neutrinos moving faster than the light in a medium can reveal secrets of our past. How this happens? How neutrinos are detected? Students are studying the physics of neutrinos, solving geometrical problems concerning Cherenkov’s cone and having a Hangout with researchers at the Ice Cube. • Keywords: Cosmology, Astrophysics, Stars, Neutrinos, Ice Cube, Astronomy, • Target audience: Students studying Physics and Astronomy. • Age range: 14-18 years old • Context: Natural Sciences School Lab, Computer School Lab, Internet Connection. • Time required: 6 hours
  3. 3. Introductory section and preparatory phase • Technical Requirements: Internet connection, appropriate software: Google Hungouts, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, Computers, video projector could be useful. • Author’s background: Knowledge of Physics, knowledge of Astronomy, Cosmology and Astrophysics, Stars, elementary particles, Google+, internet. • Connection with the curriculum: Strongly related with Astronomy (Second Class of Greek High School), Physics (First, Second and Third Class of Greek High School). • Learning Objectives: Hands on learning, Inquiry based learning, ICT in education, use of Open Science Resources, learn students to cooperate and act as researchers. • Guidance for preparation: Search in literature, bibliography, internet and other sources, about elementary particles and neutrinos. Study of Cosmology, Astrophysics, Astronomy. Importance of neutrinos in cosmology and theories of the beginning of the universe.
  4. 4. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1: Questions Eliciting Activities – PROVOKE CURIOSITY 1. Teacher introduces students to theory of elementary particles, focusing in neutrinos. He presents to the students the following video from CERN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0KjXsGRv oA Then asks students about elementary particles and neutrinos 2. Teacher also presents to students a video about a “telescope” buried in Antarctic ice that detects elusive neutrinos: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/ 10465749/Telescope-buried-in-Antarctic- ice-detects-elusive-neutrinos.html
  5. 5. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 1: Questions Eliciting Activities – DEFINE QUESTIONS FROM CURRENT KNOWLEDGE Teacher reminds students of the breaking the sound barrier. Presents to them the following theory of physics: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=-tpwj5rA-OQ Then, teacher presents the video “Cerenkov Light: What is it?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Ir6E4IG64 asking students to find similarities between breaking the sound barrier and Cerenkov radiation. Teacher asks students to look at the geometry of the Cerenkov cone (shown in two dimensions at the inserted image).
  6. 6. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2: Active Investigation – PROPOSE PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION OR HYPOTHESES • Students are asked to use the HYPATIA software and simulate the experimental procedure of discovering the Higgs Boson. • This procedure reveals a way of “producing” neutrinos in colliders. • Teacher asks students about the energies of these “earthy produced” neutrinos.
  7. 7. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2: Active Investigation – PLAN AND CONDUCT SIMPLE INVESTIGATION • Students are attending a video from the ESA site about neutrinos emitted from the cores of stars and galaxies. Students are asked to use the MINERVA software in order to discover how new discoveries are made. We want to introduce students in research philosophy. Students can thus realize the continuous efforts of finding new tools to research our world.
  8. 8. Pre-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 2: Active Investigation – PLAN AND CONDUCT SIMPLE INVESTIGATION • We communicate live with the scientists at the Ice Cube laboratory at South Pole via Google Hangouts. • Students are encourage to ask questions about the fundamental research and the basis upon neutrinos astronomy is developed. • How we detect neutrinos? Why we choose South Pole? • How can we “extract” information from neutrinos?
  9. 9. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 3: Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION • We also connect with CERN and exchange information about neutrinos. • How can we distinguish neutrinos from space (stars) from neutrinos produced on Earth, at CERN for instance? • What are the values of energies of neutrinos produced at CERN and what are the energy values of neutrinos detected at Ice Cube? • Then, students are asked to make assumptions about how can the released energy reveals information about stars and space creation.
  10. 10. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 4: Discussion – EXPLANATION BASED ON EVIDENCE • What can the geometry of the Cerenkov cone reveals? • We ask students to distinguish the single cone produced by a muon neutrino from the multiple cones produced by electron neutrinos. What can the diffuse ring reveal?
  11. 11. Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 4: Discussion – CONSIDER OTHER EXPLANATIONS Furthermore we ask students to find out why we need neutrinos astronomy. What questions are left to be answered. Why Cosmologists need information from neutrinos? Students are asked to find how long does it take a photon to travel from the core to the outer part of a star. They can use the Sun4all software and the educational scenario “Sunspots! Let us introduce ourselves”.
  12. 12. Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – COMMUNICATE EXPLANATION • Students can now explain why neutrinos are necessary for describing the physics of the inner part of the stars. Neutrinos are offering complementary information to astrophysicists. • Even more students can distinguish low energy neutrinos “produced” on Earth from high energy neutrinos emitted from space objects.
  13. 13. • Think of new possibilities at astronomy. Think of neutrino or other particles observatories. Post-Experiment / Observation– Teaching Phase 5: Reflection – FOLLOW UP ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS • Take part into a large project transforming the school roofs into particle detectors. • http://indico.cern.ch/event/99 542/page/1
  14. 14. Contact Information • Name Surname: Chiotelis Ioannis • Affiliation: Model Experimental High School of University of Patras • Address: Arakinthou 20, 26226, Patras, Greece • Telephone: +306948372341 • Email: johnchiotelis@yahoo.gr johnchiotelis@gmail.com johnchiotelis@icloud.com

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