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  1. Surviving Extinction is an interactive, adaptive, digital learning experience through which students learn about the history of vertebrate evolution over the last 350 million years. This experience is self-contained, providing students with immediate feedback. It is designed to be used in a wide range of educational settings from junior high school (∼12 years old) to university level. Surviving Extinction ’s design draws on effective aspects of existing virtual field trip-based learning experiences. Most important among these is the capacity for students to learn through self-directed virtual explorations of simulated historical ecosystems and significant modern-day geologic field sites. Surviving Extinction alsomore »makes significant innovations beyond what has previously been done in this area, including extensive use of gamified elements such as collectibles and hidden locations. Additionally, it blends scientifically accurate animations with captured media via a user interface that presents an attractive, engaging, and immersive experience. Surviving Extinction has been field-tested with students at the undergraduate, high school, and pre-high school levels to assess how well it achieves the intended learning outcomes. In all settings we found significant gains pre- to post-activity on a knowledge survey with medium to large effect sizes. This evidence of learning is further supported with data from the gamified elements such as the number of locations discovered and total points earned. Surviving Extinction is freely available for use and detailed resources for educators are provided. It is appropriate for a range of undergraduate courses that cover the history of life on Earth, including ones from a biology, ecology, or geology perspective and courses for either majors or non-majors. Additionally, at the high school level, Surviving Extinction is directly appropriate to teaching adaptation, one of the disciplinary core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards. Beyond providing this resource to the educational community, we hope that the design ideas demonstrated in Surviving Extinction will influence future development of interactive digital learning experiences.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 9, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Particles beyond the Standard Model (SM) can generically have lifetimes that are long compared to SM particles at the weak scale. When produced at experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, these long-lived particles (LLPs) can decay far from the interaction vertex of the primary proton–proton collision. Such LLP signatures are distinct from those of promptly decaying particles that are targeted by the majority of searches for new physics at the LHC, often requiring customized techniques to identify, for example, significantly displaced decay vertices, tracks with atypical properties, and short track segments. Given their non-standard nature,more »a comprehensive overview of LLP signatures at the LHC is beneficial to ensure that possible avenues of the discovery of new physics are not overlooked. Here we report on the joint work of a community of theorists and experimentalists with the ATLAS, CMS, and LHCb experiments—as well as those working on dedicated experiments such as MoEDAL, milliQan, MATHUSLA, CODEX-b, and FASER—to survey the current state of LLP searches at the LHC, and to chart a path for the development of LLP searches into the future, both in the upcoming Run 3 and at the high-luminosity LHC. The work is organized around the current and future potential capabilities of LHC experiments to generally discover new LLPs, and takes a signature-based approach to surveying classes of models that give rise to LLPs rather than emphasizing any particular theory motivation. We develop a set of simplified models; assess the coverage of current searches; document known, often unexpected backgrounds; explore the capabilities of proposed detector upgrades; provide recommendations for the presentation of search results; and look towards the newest frontiers, namely high-multiplicity ‘dark showers’, highlighting opportunities for expanding the LHC reach for these signals.

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  3. Abstract The semiconductor tracker (SCT) is one of the tracking systems for charged particles in the ATLAS detector. It consists of 4088 silicon strip sensor modules.During Run 2 (2015–2018) the Large Hadron Collider delivered an integrated luminosity of 156 fb -1 to the ATLAS experiment at a centre-of-mass proton-proton collision energy of 13 TeV. The instantaneous luminosity and pile-up conditions were far in excess of those assumed in the original design of the SCT detector.Due to improvements to the data acquisition system, the SCT operated stably throughout Run 2.It was available for 99.9% of the integrated luminosity and achieved a data-quality efficiencymore »of 99.85%.Detailed studies have been made of the leakage current in SCT modules and the evolution of the full depletion voltage, which are used to study the impact of radiation damage to the modules.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023