KU QuarkNet Summer Research

Four years ago in the summer of 2013 I began a summer job that quickly became a highlight of my year. Through my involvement in QuarkNet, I found that the University of Kansas QuarkNet center has a summer research program, and they were hiring a summer research teacher.

Since then, I have had the wonderful experience of helping to run the seven-week program, taking students to visit Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, and helping students with their research and projects as diverse as microwave radio wave behavior in sand and ice, analyzing CMS data in ROOT, and building research hardware with microcontrollers. Some in multiple years have worked on CMS detector hardware and hardware analysis.

I’ve put together a collection of research abstracts and student research talks. Currently, the abstracts include 2013-2016, and the talks include 2014-2017. I’ll be adding the 2017 abstracts within a few days, and I hope to find the 2013 presentation videos to add to the YouTube playlist soon.

Abstracts: https://goo.gl/P8Ew7W

Presentation Video Playlist: https://goo.gl/AXV8TU



KU QuarkNet Week 2-3: Research Underway


Research Projects

The QuarkNet research assistants, all high school students or 2016 graduates, are hired to work in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. During this time, they are working with professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and others to contribute to ongoing research projects at the University.

Photos and Descriptions


Brittany and Ardrian jumped into assembling the QuarkNet Cosmic Ray Muon Detector.


Prof. Besson advises returning QuarkNet researcher Margot.


Sabrea, Asher, and Roxanna (seated) learn to operate and analyze the data from radio transmission and reception experiments.


Sabrea, Asher, and Roxanna (seated) learn to operate and analyze the data from the radio transmission and reception experiment.



Ardrian and Brittany find that commissioning a Cosmic Ray Muon Detector requires lots of testing, careful assembly, and light-tight tape.


Bennett, Margot, and Pierce collaborate on research. All three are returning QuarkNet researchers.


Within a couple of days, Ardrian and Brittany had the detector functioning and under test.



A particularly well-timed photo of Bennett and Pierce testing the revisions to their lightning detector, begun in the 2015 research season. Their device(s) are part of the TARA research at KU.


Bennett and Pierce delivered a preliminary talk about their research work and the hardware they have created to generate a trigger that includes directional and range information.


The audience at a typical research seminar includes professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and fellow QuarkNet research assistants.

QuarkNet is funded by grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.