This summer, six high school interns teamed up to complete scientific research, experience lectures by distinguished UCSC faculty, and discover the cutting edge of particle and astrophysics research. From the Standard Model to Dark Energy to Supersymmetry, the interns took advantage of an excellent opportunity to broaden their knowledge of physics. They also completed three scientific experiments, each replete with obstacles and rewards. To learn more about these experiments, please visit the experiment pages.
"If you're on this website, you're probably wondering what an experience at the SCIPP/Quarknet Internship would be like. Imagine devoted high school and college faculty and students as your mentors to help you design and execute an original experiment. Imagine having unfettered access to lab resources all day. Imagine lectures by distinguished faculty delivered for your enjoyment and that of your fellow interns. That's the summer SCIPP experience." - David Rathmann-Bloch, SCIPP Intern
"95% of the universe is unknown to us.
The stars, planets, and everything we can see constitute only about 5% of the mass-energy in the universe as a whole. The other 95% is a mysterious combination of 'dark energy' and 'dark matter'. Despite their mystery, these things have a huge effect on our lives. The galaxy wouldn't be able to stay gravitationally bound without dark matter. And yet, we don't know if dark matter is composed of some, as yet undiscovered, particle or what characteristics it might possess." - Julia Rathmann-Bloch, SCIPP Intern
Our Focus: Muons
Muons are small particles with similar characteristics to electrons--but they're 200 times more massive. They result from the ever-present shower of cosmic radiation's impact on the atmosphere. As cosmic radiation, which mostly consists of protons, hits the upper atmosphere, it decays into muons. Luckily for the interns, muons can be detected with relatiive ease by using a scintillator detector.
The interns had the opportunity to listen to lectures by the following eminent faculty members and SCIPP staff:
Max Wilder, Tanmayi Sai, Professor Jason Nielsen, Professor David Smith, Professor Ryan Reece, Professor David Williams, Professor Bill Atwood, Professor Joel Primack, Professor Stefano Profumo, Professor Tesla Jeltema, Professor Alexander Sher