The research in this group involves the use of x-rays and electrons for probing the structure of solids, liquids, surfaces, and interfaces. Specifically, we use x-ray absorption spectroscopy, x-ray scattering and x-ray reflectometry to study the structure of materials and nanoscience for energy-related research, and is involved in collaborations on a variety of environmental and biological problems, such as biomineralization and the structure of biofilms. In addition to x-ray experiments, we use transmission electron microscopy and diffraction, optical measurements, and a number of other materials characterization tools.
The x-ray research largely requires the use of very intense x-rays available only at national synchrotron-radiation sources. To that end, the group is part of the Materials Research Collaborative Access Team (MRCAT) a multiple-institution consortium that constructed and now operates two x-ray beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source located at Argonne National Laboratory. Experimental instrumentation includes microfocussing optics, an 8-circle goniometer, 2D CCD detector, and multielement x-ray fluorescence detectors for time- and spatially-resolved x-ray scattering, reflectivity, and XAFS to study a variety of materials, environmental, and biological problems.
The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) has been formed by the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, the University of Chicago, and Argonne National Laboratory to provide an scientific and intellectual center for the rapidly growing field of Nuclear Astrophysics. JINA will operate a collaborative research program at the experimental facilities of the member institutions and it will also develop a strong theoretical program in collaboration with the SciDaC Supernova Science Center at UC Santa Cruz and University of Arizona, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara. JINA will foster interdisciplinary collaborations, workshops, research programs, and educational initiatives at its participating institutions as well as within the field of Nuclear Astrophysics at large. JINA is sponsored by the National Science Foundation as a Physics Frontier Center.
The goal of the LBT project is to construct a binocular telescope consisting of two 8.4-meter mirrors on a common mount. This telescope will be equivalent in light-gathering power to a single 11.8 meter instrument. Because of its binocular arrangement, the telescope will have a resolving power (ultimate image sharpness) corresponding to a 22.8-meter telescope.
Current schedules for the telescope, mirror and enclosure suggest that first light will occur in the fall of the year 2002. The second primary should follow approximately 1.5 years late.
The Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona where sky conditions are among the best in the world and certainly the Continental United States.
Fermilab DØ Experiment:
1.8 TeV Proton Antiproton Collisions
The DØ Experiment consists of a worldwide collaboration of scientists conducting research on the fundamental nature of matter. The experiment is located at the world's premier high-energy accelerator, the Tevatron Collider, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, USA. The research is focused on precise studies of interactions of protons and antiprotons at the highest available energies. It involves an intense search for subatomic clues that reveal the character of the building blocks of the universe.
The goal of this international effort is to build a general purpose detector designed to run at the highest luminosity at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) detector has been optimized for the search of the SM Higgs boson over a mass range from 90 GeV to 1 TeV, but it also allows detection of a wide range of possible signatures from alternative electro-weak symmetry breaking mechanisms. CMS is also well adapted for the study of top, beauty and tau physics at lower luminosities and will cover several important aspects of the heavy ion physics program.
Search for Mesons with Unusual Quantum Numbers
The theory of Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD) is the basis for the belief in the existance of exotic mesons. However, currently QCD calculations are extremely difficult and laborious. Therefore, it falls to the flux tube model to guide the search for exotic mesons. These mesons are bound states which are not composed of a quark/anti-quark pair (as a meson is) or of three quarks (as a baryon is). They are states composed of various combinations of quarks, anti-quarks and gluons. There are 3 main types of exotics mesons: glueballs, hybrids, and diquarkonium. Finding these exotics is the main goal of this research effort.
Building on the original 2200-meter PEP storage ring and in cooperation with LBNL and LLNL, SLAC is constructing an extensive upgrade called the B Factory which will produce millions of B mesons. This upgrade includes modifications to the PEP storage ring and a new type of detector, called BaBar. The BaBar detector consists of a silicon vertex detector, a drift chamber, a particle identification system, a CsI electromagnetic calorimeter, and a magnet with an instrumented flux return. The B Factory will include a second ring of magnets and other devices to increase the particle collision rate 50 times more than the original facility. This high collision rate is necessary for the study of the matter-antimatter asymmetry. The BaBar collaboration consists of around 600 physicists and engineers from 72 institutions in 9 countries.