Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics
Faculty :Thomas O'Donnell; Jonathan Link; Camillo Mariani; Leo Piilonen; Mark Pitt; Bruce Vogelaar
Emeriti Faculty: Marvin Blecher; John Ficenec; David Jenkins
Prof. O'Donnell's group explores the properties of neutrinos and their implications. These electrically neutral and almost massless particles, by their sheer numbers and unique properties play a deep role in the story of the Universe. Their tiny but definitively non-zero masses are still a mystery and one that may have huge implications --- perhaps neutrinos catalyzed rare lepton-number-violating processes and thus seeded the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the extreme environment of the early universe.
The O'Donnell Group
Professor Mariani studies experimental particle physics and in particular his research interest focus on neutrino. Professor Mariani and his group are involved in various accelerator neutrino experiments, long baseline (DUNE at Fermilab and SURF) and short baseline (MicroBooNE and SBND at Fermilab), in non-proliferation experiment (SOLID and CHANDLER) and in electron scattering experiments at JLAB in Virginia. One of the focus of the group is the study of neutrino interactions in matter from a theoretical and experimental point of view. We study properties of neutrinos, how many neutrino species exists (is there a sterile neutrino?) and if neutrinos are responsible for the difference between matter and anti-matter in the universe.
Professor Piilonen studies experimental elementary particle physics through the behaviour of heavy quarks (beauty and charm) and leptons (taus) as they interact and decay. Piilonen and his research group pursue these investigations in the Belle and Belle II experiments at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan. We study the differences in behaviour of matter and antimatter - so-called CP-symmetry violation - and the search for new forces and particles such as dark matter.