Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS April Meeting 2019
Volume 64, Number 3
Saturday–Tuesday, April 13–16, 2019; Denver, Colorado
Session B13: Outreach and Engaging the Public
10:45 AM–11:57 AM,
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Sheraton Room: Plaza Court 2
Sponsoring Unit: FOEP
Chair: Chad Orzel, Union College
Abstract: B13.00003 : Particle physics outreach in the cloud with Google’s Colab environment*
11:09 AM–11:21 AM
View Presentation Abstract
Particle physics is different from other scientific fields in that it is very challenging for students to directly engage with data. Unlike astronomical images that immediately capture the imagination, the details of relativistic kinematics can impede further exploration. Since 2014, we have maintained a website, Particle Physics Playground, which gives users access to simplified data from the CMS experiment, and the since-shuttered BaBar and CLEO experiments. Visitors interface with the data using python, Jupyter notebooks, and simplified accessor functions that we provide for them. The target audience is high school or undergraduate students who have some exposure to, or willingness to learn, python. In the summer of 2018, the website underwent an overhaul; most significantly the notebooks were moved to Google Colaboratory (Colab), an online environment that allows users to write and execute code, all on Google’s servers. This means that these datasets can now be accessed with something as simple as Chromebook. In addition, explanatory videos were created that help users get started with both Colab and the analysis tools themselves. The current status of this project will be discussed.
*This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation, PHY-1608779.
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