The Dallas Morning News interviewed SMU physicist Ryszard Stroynowski about the historic discovery of the new fundamental particle necessary for scientists to explain how matter acquires mass.
The Morning News article, “Dallas-area physicists had a hand in discovery of “God particle,” published July 4.
SMU physicist Stroynowski is a principal investigator in the search for the Higgs boson, and the leader of SMU’s team in the Department of Physics that is working on the experiment.
The experimental physics group at SMU has been involved since 1994 and is a major contributor to the research, the heart of which is the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator on the border with Switzerland and France.
The discovery results, which are preliminary, were announced July 4 at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland, and at the International Conference of High Energy Physics in Melbourne, Australia. CERN is the headquarters for the LHC lab, which is a collaborative experiment involving thousands of scientists worldwide.
By Joe Simnacher
Three teams of physicists from North Texas were at the heart of the research that discovered the new subatomic particle announced Wednesday.
Professors and graduate students from Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington were all working in Geneva on Wednesday when the identification of the basic building block of the universe was announced.
“It’s really exciting,” said Dr. Joe Izen, the physics professor leading the UTD team. “I get paid to do this.”
The North Texas teams were part of ATLAS, one of seven larger experiments designed to detect the subatomic particle.
The UTD team created and operated the ATLAS pixel detector, “kind of like an 80 million pixel camera, if you will,” Izen said. It detects the paths of charge tracks so they can be traced to their point of origin.
The SMU team works on the ATLAS liquid argon calorimeter, which measures the energy of photons and electrons.
Dr. Ryszard Stroynowski, physics professor and leader of the SMU team, said he and his colleagues have spent years in Geneva working with equipment they built in Dallas. Stroynowski recently devoted a one-year sabbatical from SMU to the experiment.
“The experiment operates 24 hours a day,” Stroynowski said. “It has to be manned in shifts.”
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