Columbia University Nevis Labs

Experimental High-Energy Physics at Nevis

The overall goal of the Nevis particle physics program is to address many of the key open issues in our understanding of the fundamental forces and properties of matter.

The purpose of high-energy particle physics (as opposed to high-energy nuclear physics) is to understand the properties and states of the basic building blocks of matter.

What follows is an overview of the particle physics experiments in which Nevis currently participates. Note that the list of physics results is necessarily incomplete, since each is a rich source of new information about the structure of matter.

Consult the web sites of the individual experiments for more information; some additional descriptions can be found on the Nevis REU research groups page.

Current Experiments

ATLAS experiment at LHC in CERN. The Nevis participation in USATLAS centers on the Liquid Argon Calorimeter and the pixel detector.

High-Energy Proton-Proton Collider (center-of-mass energy = 14 TeV)

  • Search for the Higgs boson
  • The physics of top and bottom quarks
  • The search for new physics beyond the Standard Model, including supersymmetry

Gustaaf Brooijmans
Katherine Copic
Thomas Gadfort
Andrew Haas
Emlyn Hughes
John Parsons
Francesco Spano
P. Michael Tuts
Lidija Zivkovic

BooNE

Booster Neutrino Oscillation Experiment (E = 500 MeV at 500 meters)

MiniBooNE

  • Search for neutrino oscillations using neutrinos and antineutrinos from the Fermilab Booster neutrino beam.
  • tests of CP and CPT violation in the neutrino sector;
  • search for sterile neutrinos and other exotic physics associated with neutrinos;
  • precise measurements of neutrino cross sections for (quasi-)elastic and single pion production in the 1 GeV region.

Michael Shaevitz

SciBooNE

  • precise measurements of neutrino interactions in 1 GeV region;
  • combined neutrino oscillation search using SciBooNE and MiniBooNE
  • Group is involved in measuring the K+ flux together with the nue contamination in the Booster neutrino beam and inclusive CC neutrino cross section.

Camillo Mariani
Michael Shaevitz

MicroBooNE

  • investigations of neutrino oscillations with reduced backgrounds and improved particle identification
  • definitive study of the MiniBooNE low-energy electron neutrino excess
  • R&D project for a Liquid argon detector;
  • precise measurements of neutrino-Argon cross section in the 1 GeV region; Group is involved in development and production of the digitizing and data organizing electronics
  • Contribution to the simulation and event reconstruction software

Leslie Camilleri
Camillo Mariani
William Seligman
Michael Shaevitz

Double Chooz

  • two detector reactor neutrino experiment to measure theta-13 through the search for anti-electron neutrino disappearance;
  • sensitivity to a neutrino mixing angle theta-13, at the level of sin2 2-theta_13 greater than 0.025;
  • initial sensitivity at 0.05 level with one year of single detector data.
  • Group is involved in development and production of the Outer Veto readout electronics and data acquisition software, in calculation of the Double Chooz sensitivity under different conditions and in estimation of the backgrounds.

Leslie Camilleri
Camillo Mariani
Michael Shaevitz

Ebubble - R&D into a cryogenic noble fluid tracker

Detection of proton-proton fusion reaction neutrinos in the sun. (99.75% of the total neutrino flux with E<420keV)

  • Solar Neutrino physics - testing the Standard Solar Model, understanding the low-energy (vacuum dominated) neutrino oscillation phenomenon
  • Electronic Detection: the mechanism of electron avalanche gain, charge collection, electrode structure, signal formation and noise measurements
  • Cryogenic and Mechanical Design
  • Optical Measurements: imaging tracks of electron bubbles and their transitions by fluorescence or photo-ionization

William Willis
Raphael Galea

D0 experiment at Fermilab

Proton-Proton Collider (center-of-mass energy = 2 TeV)

  • The discovery of the top quark
  • The physics of the bottom quark
  • The mass of the W boson
  • QCD measurements
  • Searches for new physics

Gustaaf Brooijmans
Thomas Gadfort
Andrew Haas
Sabine Lammers
Michael Mulhearn
John Parsons
P. Michael Tuts
Lidija Zivkovic

Older research projects conducted at Nevis

Pierre Auger Observatory in Malargue, Argentina

Ultra-high-energy Cosmic Rays (1016 - 1020 eV)

  • Measure the energy spectrum of cosmic rays to the highest energy possible, > 1020 eV
  • Measure the cosmic ray composition as a function of energy
  • Search for sources of ultra-high-energy comic rays

Brian Connolly
Michael Prouza
Stefan Westerhoff

HiRes Fly's Eye experiment in Utah

Ultra-high-energy Cosmic Rays (1016 - 1020 eV)

  • Measure the energy spectrum of cosmic rays to the highest energy possible, > 1020 eV
  • Measure the cosmic ray composition as a function of energy
  • Search for sources of ultra-high-energy comic rays

John Boyer
Brian Connolly
Bruce Knapp
Eric Mannel
Michal Seman
Stefan Westerhoff

Neutrino Factory/Muon Collider

20-50 GeV muon storage ring producing 1020-1021 neutrinos per year

  • Neutrino oscillations
  • CP violation in the lepton sector
  • Origin of quark and lepton flavors

Janet Conrad
Raphael Galea
Michael Shaevitz

NuTeV fixed-target experiment

Neutrino-Nucleon Scattering (20 to 600 GeV)

  • Electroweak measurements (the Weinberg angle)
  • Quark and gluon structure of the proton, including the strange and charm seas
  • The mass of the charm quark

Janet Conrad
Zelimir Djurcic
Camillo Mariani
Michael Shaevitz

ZEUS experiment at HERA in DESY (Germany)

Electron-Proton Collider (27.5 GeV electons x 920 GeV protons)

  • Study of the proton structure (quark and gluon densities)
  • Study of high energy diffraction
  • Tests of QCD via exclusive vector meson production
  • Tests of QCD in jets, hadronic final states
  • Tests of Electroweak Theory at High Q2
  • Search for new forces/new particles

Allen Caldwell
William Schmidke
Frank Sciulli