Thomas E. Coan

Hunt begins for elusive neutrino particle at one of the world’s largest, most powerful detectors

NOvA, SMU, Thomas Coan, Fermilab, neutrinosWhen 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

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The power of ManeFrame: SMU’s new supercomputer boosts research capacity

SMU now has a powerful new tool for research – one of the fastest academic supercomputers in the nation – and a new facility to house it.

With a cluster of more than 1,000 Dell servers, the system’s capacity is on par with high-performance computing (HPC) power at much larger universities and at government-owned laboratories. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded the system to SMU in August 2013. Continue reading

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SMU Daily Campus: Navigating neutrinos — Professor studies most elusive particle in the universe

SMU neutrinos Fermilab NOvAJournalist Lauren Aguirre of the SMU Daily Campus covered the research of SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan, an associate professor in the SMU Department of Physics.

Coan works with more than 200 scientists around the world to study one of the universe’s most elusive particles — the neutrino.
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NOvA experiment glimpses neutrinos, one of nature’s most abundant, and elusive particles

NOvA, SMU, Tom Coan, neutrinos 400x300Scientists hunting one of nature’s most elusive, yet abundant, elementary particles announced today they’ve succeeded in their first efforts to glimpse neutrinos using a detector in Minnesota.

Neutrinos are generated in nature through the decay of radioactive elements and from high-energy collisions between fundamental particles, such as in the Big Bang that ignited the universe. Continue reading

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