SMU Department of Physics
Top Quark: New precise particle measurement improves subatomic tool for probing mysteries of universe
Physicists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas have achieved a new precise measurement of a key subatomic particle, opening the door to better understanding some of the deepest mysteries of our universe.
The researchers calculated the new measurement for a critical characteristic — mass — of the Top Quark. The new SMU value confirms recent measurements by other physicists — but adds growing uncertainty to physics’ Standard Model. Continue reading
Initial data from a new U.S.–based physics experiment indicates scientists are a step closer to understanding neutrinos, the second most abundant particle in the universe, says SMU physics professor Thomas Coan, a principal investigator on the project.
Neutrinos are little understood, but indications are they hold clues to why matter overwhelmingly survived after the Big Bang instead of just energy in the form of light. Continue reading
1st proton collisions at the world’s largest science experiment expected to start the first or second week of June
The schedule announcement came during an international physics conference on the SMU campus from senior research scientist Albert De Roeck, a staff member at CERN and a leading scientist on one of the Large Hadron Collider‘s key experiments in Geneva.
“It will be about another six weeks to commission the machine, and many things can still happen on the way,” said De Roeck. The LHC in early April was restarted for its second three-year run after a two-year pause to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. At higher energy, physicists worldwide expect to see new discoveries about the laws that govern our natural universe. Continue reading
Start up of the world’s largest science experiment is underway — with protons traveling in opposite directions at almost the speed of light in the deep underground tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider straddling France and Switzerland.
As protons collide, physicists will peer into the resulting particle showers for new discoveries about the universe, said Ryszard Stroynowski, Southern Methodist University, a collaborator on the LHC. Continue reading
SMU physicist Jodi Cooley was a guest of National Public Radio’s Science Friday show to share in a discussion about what physicists know and don’t know about mysterious dark matter. Dark matter is believed to make up the bulk of the matter in the universe.
Symmetry Magazine, the monthly publication of the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, featured SMU physics alum Ryan Rios in an article about physicists working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Rios was a graduate student in the SMU Department of Physics and as part of a team led by SMU Physics Professor Ryszard Stroynowski spent from 2007 to 2012 as a member of the ATLAS experiment at Switzerland-based CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Continue reading
SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan talked with Fox 4 DFW reporter Dan Godwin about the neutrino, an elusive fundamental particle that scientists are working to understand using one of the most powerful physics experiments in the world.
KERA public radio 90.1 hosted SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan on Krys Boyd‘s “Think” program Oct. 29. Coan and Boyd discussed neutrinos, one of the most elusive particles in the Standard Model’s “particle zoo.”
When scientists pour 3.0 million gallons of mineral oil into what are essentially 350,000 giant plastic tubes, the possibility of a leak can’t be overlooked, says SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan.
The oil and tubes are part of the integral structure of the world’s newest experiment to understand neutrinos — invisible fundamental particles so abundant they constantly bombard us and pass through us at a rate of more than 100,000 billion particles a second. Continue reading