Some Research Topics
I am currently finishing up research on the D0 experiment at Fermilab, and am a member of the Mu2E and g-2 collaborations, also both at Fermilab. I spend a small part of my time on detector R&D including the development of a proton tomography device.
I have been involved in experimental particle physics since 1976. I did thesis work on a number of Fermilab neutral kaon experiments including production of pi-mu atoms (my thesis topic), KS regeneration, and KL scattering cross section measurements with a group from Wisconsin, Stanford and Chicago, under the leadership of Sam Aronson, Mel Schwartz, and Bruce Winstein. After receiving my Ph.D., I did my postdoc work at Stony Brook under Mike Marx and Paul Grannis. My initial effort was on a Brookhaven neutrino experiment which investigated neutrino oscillations, and weak neutral currents using the nu p->nu p and nu e->nu e channels. In 1982, I also began working on a new experiment at the Fermilab collider, LAPDOG, which evolved into D0. D0 is a large, over 5000 ton, general purpose experiment designed to be sensitive to all physics within reach of the 2 trillion electron Volt energy available at Fermilab's collider. Over 500 physicists from 90 institutions and 18 countries are members of this collaboration. In 1995, we, along with another Fermilab experiment CDF, discovered the top quark, up to now the heaviest observed of the fundamental particles which make up our universe. Tevatron operations at Fermilab ended in 2011 and D0 is currently completing its analysis of its full data set. In 2012, D0 along with CDF, and the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN, shared in the discovery of what is probably the Higgs Boson.
My primary responsibilities on D0 have been the muon system design, construction, and operation, and on exploiting muons for a variety of physics processes, especially using them to help trigger and tag b-decays. I have been involved in measurements of b-quark production and searches for new phenomena containing b-quarks and missing energy. This has included Higgs decay, third generation leptoquarks and bottom squarks. I helped design both the Run I and Run II upgraded muon detectors and constructed aspects of the PDT and scintillator systems, and was the coordinator of the muon identification group with primary responsibility for muon reconstruction from 1985 to 1997 and, for Run II, from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2008-2012. I was also a B-physics coordinator from 1990-1994 and helped formulate some of the ideas now being exploited in Run II in that area including the intital (and very preliminary) studies of using dimuon charge asymmetries.
I am currently a member of the Mu2E and g-2 experiments at Fermilab which will respectively search for the conversion of a muon to an electron in a nuclear field and measure the magnetic moment of the muon. My activity of Mu2E is pimarily simulating the backgrounds and looking at shielding optimizations. Other members of NIU on Mu2E are Sasha Dychkant, Nick Pohlman, Adam Yurkewicz, Zach Hodge, and Ryan Majewski. The NIU g-2 group currently consists of Mike Eads, Nick Pohlman, and myself.
Starting in 2000, the NIU group has been working on aspects of accelerator and detector R&D geared towards the future of Fermilab, such as the use of electron-based or muon-based accelerators. NIU R&D efforts in accelerator and future detectors are detailed on the NICADD page.
In 1987 I co-founded the NIU experimental high energy physics group. This group has been supported by grants from the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the State of Illinois, and directly from Fermilab and Argonne. Over 160 NIU students have worked with us, doing a variety of different projects such as building detectors, testing electronics, and analyzing data with 34 receiving MS or Ph.D. degrees (16 under my supervision).