Summer Student Projects 2012
The following list will give some idea of the range and diversity of previous Summer Studentship Scheme projects, along with the named individuals who participated.
Top Quark Physics at ATLAS
Glasgow ATLAS group is involved in studies of top physics using the ATLAS detector at the LHC. The LHC produces top quarks at a very large rate making it an ideal place to study the top quark's properties. This project will aim to study production and properties of the top quark, using real ATLAS data.
Preferred dates (starting ~June 1st)
Student: Heather McAslan, Glasgow University 3rd year student
Supervisors: Sarah Allwood-Spiers and James Ferrando
Backup Supervisor: Tony Doyle
Looking at pileup events with ATLAS data
The ATLAS particle detector at the LHC records energy deposits left by particles produced in head-on collisions between bunches of protons that contain billions of protons, also called events. Ideally, only one proton-proton collision would happen for every bunch crossing. In reality about 15 proton-proton collisions take place during a bunch crossing, and this number is expected to grow to about 30 as the performance of the LHC improves. Having more than one proton-proton collision enhances the chance that one of the collisions contains interesting physics interactions. However, all other interactions in the event act as a "noise", since they create their own particles that overlap with the particles produced in the interesting interaction. We typically try to subtract the effect of these extra interactions, or 'noise', from the ionisation tracks in the detector.
This project aims to find whether the extra interactions are correlated or not with the main interaction. A priori we accept no correlation, since all interactions are independent of each other. However, no ATLAS study has been performed so far to check the validity of this assumption. This is especially important in view of the fact that we use Monte Carlo simulations to choose randomnly which extra interactions are added to the event. The extant description has not given the best match between simulation and data thus far. If there is a correlation, it could be one of the possible explanations.
This project will also give the student a chance to look at Monte-Carlo event generators and how they model physics processes. Students with strong physics analysis motivation, and preferably programming experience, are desired.
Preferred dates: 15 June - 31 August
Student: Karl Nordstrom, Glasgow University 2nd year student
Supervisor: Deepak Kar
Backup supervisor: Arthur Moraes
Automated Cluster Management
The Grid has become an essential tool for Physicists, allowing them to access, process and analyse vast amounts of data produced by modern particle physics experiments (such as the LHC). Additionally the Grid is becoming increasingly important for other scientific communities to enable next generation research into biomedicine, geophysics and social science.
To create such a grid requires a large range of complex hardware and software. Hardware ranging from high performance switches providing a low latency communication fabric to vast arrays of CPU's and storage are used to process hundreds of thousands of jobs over the course of a year. Complex software stacks produced by researchers across the world are deployed to allow the secure, transparent transmission of data and the provisioning of application software throughout the interconnected grid sites.
As the Grid grows in size, the day-to-day administration of these complex systems becomes increasingly difficult with preventative maintenance effecting the important uptime of sites. It is desirable that an automated system for provisioning clusters be employed to reduce the time and effort required to maintain and build a grid site.
This project would involve the development of a set of software which would allow the staged start up of an entire cluster focusing on the steps needed to power up the system and step through the initialisation of hardware and software services. Ability to programme is essential for this project. Some knowledge of Python and Bash scripting would be beneficial as much of the existing scripting is written in these languages.
Preferred dates: TBC
Student: Lena Martens, Glasgow University 3rd year student
Supervisors: Gareth Roy, Mark Mitchell
Backup Supervisor: David Britton
Characterisation of CdTe hybrid pixel detector for position sensitive spectroscopy
Hybrid pixel detectors have found applications in many areas of science. Having the option of various detection media with multi-pixel readout electronics makes the technology suitable for studying the intrinsic properties of exotic materials such as CdTe. Small pixels allow detailed study of inherent non-uniformities in the material such as grain boundaries and Te precipitates.
You will take part in characterisation of CdTe Timepix assembly for imaging and spectroscopic applications using modern equipment and radioactive sources. Data will be collected using PixelMan program for the Medipix family of detectors. The analysis will be accomplished in ROOT or Matlab.
On project completion you will gain better understating of radiation detection techniques and complex equipment, enhance your programming and data analysis skills. You are expected to have some understating of semiconductor detectors. Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of C++ or Matlab.
Preferred dates: TBC
Student: Scott Gilmartin, Glasgow University 3rd year student
Supersior: Dzmitry Maneuski
Backup Supervisor: Val O'Shea
Simulations of Neutrino Factory Detectors
This project is to study the performance of magnetised iron neutrino detectors at a neutrino factory in simulation. This project will involve some programming and analysis of existing simulation. The goal of the project is to evaluate the ability of the proposed detector to measure oscillations of neutrinos between flavours and its sensitivity to CP violating effects.
Preferred dates: 15 June - 31 August
Student: Alejandro de Miquel, University of Barcelona 3rd year student
Supervisor: Ryan Bayes
Backup supervisor: Paul Soler