Outreach section for Braidwood proposal

From: Byron Roe <byronroe@umich.edu>
Date: Wed Aug 11 2004 - 18:08:11 CDT

The following is a 0th (or -1st) draft of an outreach section for the
Braidwood proposal.
It was prepared before our Aug. 11 meeting. At the meeting it was
suggested that the
following items be added:
a. Produce a 1-2 page brochure on the experiment concerning physics,
technology and
local aspects of the experiment.
b. Establish a visitors' area for the experiment with exhibits and
possibly online
event and background display... (or stored events).

Please send comments. What should be added OR subtracted?

B. Roe--Aug. 5, 2004.

What outreach possibilities are there for the reactor experiment?

Three subject groups for outreach are considered. The first are
people in the local area, the second are students, and the third is
the population at large.

A. Local area

A list of talk topics and speakers would be distributed to local
organizations (Kiwanis,...) and schools. Some sample topics might
              What are the big physics questions today?
              Do we still need basic research?
          Reactor monitoring and safety.
          What are we trying to measure and why?

We can indicate the excitement of new discoveries. Show that the
present day discoveries are unifying the understanding of the very
large (the universe) and the very small (sub-atomic forces and
particles). We can indicate what we understand, such as quarks, the
basic strong and electroweak forces. We can indicate what we don't
understand, dark matter and energy. Black holes, wormholes, extra
dimensions and other wild, yet possible aspects of the real world
can be discussed.

Many of the discoveries which changed the world and established the
economic leadership of the USA during the twentieth century came
from basic research. Nuclear power, lasers, superconductors,
transistors, all came from basic research. The world-wide web came as
a spinoff of particle physics basic research. Most of these
discoveries were unanticipated in advance, even by the experts in the
field. Targeted research would not have found them.

Can we help defuse public antipathy to reactors? Reactor power will
certainly have to be maintained and almost certainly expanded in the
near future. Although some public concerns are justified, there is a
fear factor for many people that is considerably worse than justified
by the facts. Some discussion of the safety record of existing
reactors (except in Russia) would be made. The role of this
experiment in providing an independent monitor of the reactor flux and
an independent signal if there was a power spike would be described.

The fascinating phenomenon of neutrino oscillations can be discussed
as well as the violation of fundamental symmetries. The role of the
measurement of theta13 for the future of this line of research
described and some of the projected future experiments with
superbeams and neutrino factories, utilizing detectors hundreds or
thousands of miles away from the accelerators.

Publicity releases would be sent to local papers, TV and radio
stations describing the project and its progress. When justified,
the releases would go to national media. Researchers would be
made available for interviews. Local people would be utilized for
construction where possible, and this, also, would be publicized.

B. Students. We would have a Summer jobs program for college and
possibly high school students. They would help with construction and
testing of prototypes and the detector, with PMT testing, and with
electronics construction and testing.

C. Population at large. We would produce a web site which would
contain the information described above for talks.
Received on Wed Aug 11 18:08:12 2004

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