University of Kansas

Physicists in tunnel near
Laura Stiles of KU, Minkyoo Choi, Garam Hahn, and German Martinez along with Michael Murray after the left hand calorimeter was successfully installed in the tunnel along with its electronics. Image courtesy of University of Kansas

The experimental particle physics group and nuclear physics group at the University of Kansas (KU) are excited to be in the CMS collaboration. The particle physics group helped to build the silicon detectors that are part of the tracker outer barrel detector and are now helping to commission the entire tracking detector. Several undergraduate students have helped to study how the information from this detector can be used to reconstruct the momentum of a particle. They are also providing software to help monitor the 2000 power supplies that are needed for this detector. We have a few graduate students who are working to calibrate how much energy different particles lose in the tracking detector so that we can search for heavy stable charged particles that are predicted by several theories including supersymmetry. 

We are excited to be starting a new program where both undergraduate and graduate students will travel to Switzerland to study silicon pixel detectors. They will help create a new tracking detector when the current detector becomes hard to read out at high event rates. The nuclear physics group is spearheading the construction of the Zero Degree Calorimeter. This detector is placed very near the beam line to study interactions with very high particle densities such as those that might have been present in the very early universe.  Several undergraduate and graduate students have helped to build this detector that can measure particle energies.  Our combined particle physics and nuclear physics groups have four faculty members, a couple of postdoctoral researchers, a few graduate students, and several undergraduate students.  We are excited to explore the new energy and density regimes that will be available to us at the LHC.