The purpose of my project, Particle World, is to create a series of educational videos and a website to explain particle physics to the general population in a way that is easy to understand and comprehend. Throughout the course of the year I plan to study not only particle physics, but programing, website design and creation, and video production as well to achieve this goal.
INTRODUCTION and GOALS:
A couple years ago, I decided to write a review article titled “An Introduction to the World of Subatomic Particles”. Of course, to do so I had to do an incredible amount of research as I didn’t know much on the field of particle physics at the time. However, as time went on, I discovered that it is really hard to find information on particle physics that is easy to understand for people, such as myself, who don’t have degrees in mathematics or quantum mechanics. After completing my paper, I was inspired to create an educational platform on particle physics that everyone, no matter what their level of education, could understand. This educational platform, called Particle World, will be a set of many videos and a website that will accomplish my goal. To do this I hope to become proficient in HTML (which is the most common coding for websites), learn what makes websites interesting and easy to use, and to learn how to create better animations for my videos. I have already created a youtube channel, and two videos, but I would like to use this time to not only create a website and more videos, but to also increase the qualities of my videos through animations and programing. The link to my youtube channel is:
IMPLEMENTATION and CHALLENGES:
Project Planning - My plan for this project is to split my time into two parts; website design and video production. For website design, I will spend my time studying basic website design and coding. Once I have developed basic knowledge on how to create my website I will start the actual design process. I hope to have the website up and running by the end of the year. For the video production side of my project, I hope to produce one video a month. I will spend the first two weeks doing research on my video topic and creating my storyboard and script. I will then spend the rest of the months filming, animating, and producing the video. Some video ideas I have already began brainstorming are tetraquarks, neutrinos (The “Ghost” Particles), and Supersymmetry.
Research and Resources - So far I have done a lot of research on particle physics and quantum mechanics. I have also done some research and projects involving video editing. The area I know least about is website design and programing. I want to build my knowledge in all areas through discussion with scientists and through more of my own research, and I want to continue taking lessons and HTML to grow my knowledge on website design.
Challenges - The biggest challenge I believe I will face is figuring out ways to explain complex quantum mechanical theories and principles, such as spin or Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), in layman terms. However, as a famous particle physicist said, “If you can’t explain the concept to your grandmother, then you clearly don’t know it as well as you though.” I believe that this will definitely be a challenge, but it is one I can overcome and be stronger because of it.
IMPACT and LEGACY:
Impact - This project will greatly benefit me in many ways through expanding my knowledge on particle physics, which is what I want to study in college, and through increasing my skill set in video production, animation, and programing, which is the language of the future. I also hope to learn how to best explain difficult concepts and to grow as a teacher.
Legacy - This project will never be 100% complete as the world of subatomic particles is mostly unknown and new discoveries and theories are being found and created everyday. Therefore, I want to continue working on this project through the rest of my high school career. Also, hopefully Particle World will inspire others to study particle physics, who can continue on with the project.
APPENDIX A: RESEARCH
Dr. Don Lincoln
Dr. Don Lincoln is a particle physicist working at both Fermilab and CERN, who has been a great help so far in answering some of my many questions and explaining concepts that I do not quite understand. He also makes educational videos for Fermilab and has been very helpful and encouraging in helping guide me in creating my videos. In the future, I would like to continue to ask him some of my many questions and get his feedback on my videos as I release them.
Dr. Amanda Yoho
Dr. Amanda Yoho has a PhD in both particle physics and cosmology and has helped answer some of my questions in particle physics and also helps me connect particle physics and cosmology together. In the future, I would also like to continue working with her on the many connections and borders between particle physics and cosmology.
Cornell University Library - arXiv.org
This is a collection of both recent and old research articles, with a large collection of articles on the areas of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics. In the past, I have not been able to really use this source, but as both my knowledge of mathematics and my knowledge of quantum mechanics have grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, I hope to be able to use this source much more as it will greatly increase my understanding of advanced topics in the quantum world.
Hyperphysics is the website I used to learn most of the principles and properties I know in quantum mechanics. In the future, I hope to continue to use this website to greatly increase my understanding of some of the many idiosyncrasies of quantum mechanics.
I have started using codeacademy to learn basic HTML coding, which is commonly used to code websites. I hope to codecademy to continue learning HTML that can help me create my website.
APPENDIX B: RESOURCES
For Video Production
Final Cut Pro X (Already have this program on my computer, but if I use another computer, I will need this program)
Video Camera (I can use my phone but it might be nice if there is a better quality camera available)
A Program through which I can Create Animations
An Online Whiteboard Program
An External Drive (I will be working with many large video files that will take up too much space on my computer to store there. This drive should be fairly large, and can either store the video footage for all videos as backup or can store just the video footage for the video I am working on at the time)
Microphone (For better audio quality)
A Quiet Room to Record in
Other Places to Record (can just be different spots around campus or on the island)
Different Particle Physics T-Shirts
For Website Creation
A Domain for my Website
A Platform where I can learn Programing
A Platform where I can learn Website Design
Computer to program on (this can be my own computer with whatever programs are necessary)
Social Media Accounts (such as facebook, google+, instagram, etc.)
Dr. Don Lincoln (Already in contact with)
Computer to do Research on (this can be my own computer)
Dr. R (Can help me understand the mathematical side of quantum mechanics and understand the research articles)
Other Scientists (all of which I am in contact with already)
Dr. Amanda Yoho (Particle Physics, Cosmology)
Dr. Evalyn Gates (Particle Physics)
Margot Taylor (Astrophysics)
**** Optional in all areas is other students to work with who are interested in video production, animation, website design, and/or particle physics. I am good doing the project on my own, but I am completely open to working with other students if anyone would like to join.