PHY599: Graduate Seminar II: (Nuclear, Particle, Astronomy, Accelerator)

Fall 2010

Place and Time:

Monday 2:20-3:50 in B-131

Course Web Page:

Last Updated: September 10, 2010


Prof. Abhay Deshpande (Nuclear)
Email: abhay.deshpande "at", Office: Physics C-101, Phone: 632-8109
Prof. James Lattimer (Astronomy)
Email: lattimer "at", Office: ESS 449, Phone: 632-8227
Prof. Patrick Meade (Particle)
Email: patrick.meade "at", Office: MT 6-104, Phone: 632-7969
Prof. Nicolas Tsoupas (Accelerator)
Email: tsoupas "at", Phone: 631-344-4979

Meeting Schedule:

date first speaker second speaker third speaker
August 30 Organizational meeting
September 6 No meeting - Labor Day
September 13 Final selection of topics, questions and answers
September 20 No meeting
September 27 Yiwen Pan
Quantum Anomalies
Charlotte Mielke
Gravitational Radiation
October 4 Oumarou Njoya
The Phase-Diagram of Nuclear Matter
Kazue Matsuyama
Perfect fluid at RHIC
Tyler Corbett
Nucleon Spin
October 11 Vinay Uppal
Large extra dimensions and grand unification at the EW scale
Malte Dyckmanns
CP violation in K decay
Aungshuman Zaman
Search for the Higgs Boson
October 18 Yaxing Zhang
J/Psi suppression, a signature for deconfinement of quarks
Rahul Patel
Extrasolar Planets
Gustavo Monteiro
The nature and magnitude of the neutrino masses
October 25 Fen Guan
Electromagnetic Radiation from Hot, Dense Nuclear Matter
Adrián Soto Cambres
Strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma
Arthur Zhao
Applications of CFTs
November 1 Yiming Zhong
Strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma
Matt von Hippel
Big Bang Nucleosynthesis
Karen Chen
Discovery of the Top Quark
November 8 Melissa Louie
Neutron Stars
Raul Santos
Color superconductivity and QCD at high density
Elizaveta Guseva
Fluid dynamics/gravity correspondence
November 15 No meeting
November 22 Ricardo Vaz
String Theory
Andrea Massari
Large extra dimensions and grand unification at the EW scale
Michael Delos
Search for Proton Decay
November 29 Madalena Lemos
String Theory
Chia-Hui Lin
Atmospheric Neutrinos and Neutrino Oscillations
December 6 TBA
Click on the topic for the abstract. Also, more or less meetings may be scheduled depending on enrollment



For electronic article access, try the university license to APS Journals (Physical Review) or the electronic preprint ArXiv; for searching published work in astronomy, the ADS abstract service is excellent. For particle physics, the web sites of large experiments can be helpful in finding publications.



Standard Syllabus Information:

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Topics in Nuclear Physics

The Phase-Diagram of Nuclear Matter:
The QCD phase diagram exhibits a large number of different phases including normal nuclear matter, dense hadron matter, quark gluon plasma, color super conductors. Discuss the phase diagram and its characteristic features and their theoretical basis. Explain which parts can be addressed by which experimental techniques. (Drees, Shuryak, Hemmick, Teaney,Kharzeev)
The Perfect Fluid Created at RHIC:
The hot, dense matter formed at RHIC has shown surprising properties. It is extremely opaque to colored probes (quarks and gluons) traversing it. The matter thermalizes incredibly quickly and behaves like a liquid with extremely small viscosity. Screening of the color charges does not appear to be complete. Similar properties are observed in strongly coupled plasmas, and are being studied using the correspondence of string theory and quantum field theory. Discuss either the experimental evidence for strongly coupled plasma formation or theoretical studies of its properties utilizing AdS/CFT correspondence. (Zahed, Teaney,Kharzeev Shuryak, Jacak)
Quenching of Jets and Heavy Quark Energy Loss:
Jets of particles in the final state of a collision arise from quarks or gluons scattering with large momentum transfer. In heavy ion collisions the quarks or gluons lose a large amount of energy in the dense medium as they traverse it. Even the very heavy charm quarks experience huge energy losses, which is quite surprising. Furthermore, the deposited energy appears to create a sound wave in the medium. Discuss the results, focusing on either theoretical or experimental aspects. (Drees, Jacak, Shuryak, Teaney,Kharzeev)
J/Psi suppression, a signature for deconfinement of quarks:
In collisions of heavy ions fewer J/psi mesons are produced than expected from summing independent nucleon-nucleon collisions. This was predicted as a signature of quark-gluon plasma formation. Briefly describe the concept of quark gluon plasma. Discuss the mechanism of suppression of the J/psi and recent data. (Drees, Hemmick)
Electromagnetic Radiation from Hot, Dense Nuclear Matter:
Enhanced radiation of lepton pairs from the hot and dense reaction volume created in collision of nuclei was observed at CERN and now also at RHIC. The data indicate melting of the QCD vacuum and therefore the presence of a QCD phase transition. Show the experimental results and interpretations. (Drees, Hemmick, Zahed)
Statistical Mechanics of Nuclear Collisions:
The number and spectra of particles produced in heavy ion collisions is well described by statistical emission from an equilibrated gas of hadrons. Data indicate that hadrons decouple at a temperature near 170 MeV, near the QCD phase transition between quarks and hadrons. Describe the measurements, statistical analysis and interpretation. (Shuryak, Jacak, Hemmick)
Particle Interferometry:
The space-time extent of the collision region formed in nuclear reactions can be studied by measuring the interference between two identical outgoing particles. Measurements at RHIC show a surprise: the sizes are no larger than at lower energy, even though RHIC produces more particles and more explosive collisions. Explain the technique and discuss the recent results. (Teaney,Kharzeev, Jacak, Hemmick)
Collective Flow of Quark Gluon Plasma
Heavy ion collisions produce high pressure and hydrodynamic flow, resulting in non-isotropic particle emission patterns. The anisotropy at RHIC is large and indicates rapid equilibration and very low viscosity followed by hydrodynamic expansion. Discuss the phenomenon and how plasma parameters are extracted from it. (Teaney,Kharzeev, Shuryak, Hemmick)
Strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma(s)
The AdS/CFT correspondence and applications to strongly coupled plasmas. (Teaney,Kharzeev, Shuryak)
Color Superconductivity and QCD at High Density
Quark matter at high density is believed to display a number of interesting phases, with quark Cooper pairs condensing like in an ordinary superconductor. Those pairs are diquarks which are already observed inside the ordinary nucleons. (Zahed, Shuryak)
Where are the quarks inside nuclei?
Discuss scattering of leptons from nuclei and dilepton production via the Drell-Yan process to probe quark and antiquark distributions. What do we learn from such data about the quark structure functions, and what is the effect of the nuclear medium? (Deshpande, Jacak, Marx)
Where is the spin of the proton?
Results from deep inelastic scattering experiments using longitudinally polarized electrons and polarized protons indicate that the quark spin contribution to the spin of the proton is essentially zero. This result is commonly referred to as the “Spin Crisis”. The gluons contribution to the proton spin is studied with polarized protons at RHIC. Review the DIS and polarized proton experiments and results. (Deshpande, Shuryak, Qiu)
What is the role of anti-quarks in determining the proton spin?
Polarized deep inelastic scattering experiments can not distinguish between quark and anti-quark spin contributions, since the interactions carriers (virtual photons, in DIS) do not carry color charge. A recent Fermilab experiment suggests that the anti-down and anti-up quarks have substantially different linear momentum distributions at high energies, indicating that the spins carried by quarks and anti-quarks probably do not cancel. Review these results and discuss how RHIC spin program at BNL plans to measure the anti-quark (ubar and dbar) spin contributions separately. (Deshpande, Shuryak, Qiu)
What is the transverse spin structure of the proton?
Results from *transversely* polarized proton-proton and electron-proton scattering experiments have measured large left-right asymmetries in particle production in the final state. A comprehensive understanding of these observations is key to the three dimensional structure of the proton, including quark and gluon orbital angular momentum contribution to the proton spin. Review these experimental observations and discuss attempts to understand the transverse spin structure of the proton at Brookhaven or/and at Jefferson Laboratory. (Deshpande, Jacak, Shuryak, Qiu)
Measurements of the Electron Neutrino Mass:
Discuss the various experiments to measure electron neutrino masses from beta-decay endpoint measurements and double-beta decay. Give the latest results and discuss the relation of these results to the recent observations of neutrino oscillations. (Shrock, Jung)
Super-Heavy Nuclei:
Well-founded nuclear model calculations have predicted a stable (lifetimes between 1 and 100 years) island of very heavy nuclei near Z--114 and A--300. A few such nuclei have recently been detected. Discuss the theoretical basis for the super-heavy island and the possible approaches to it by use of heavy ion reactions. Discuss the results from recent experiments. (Jacak)
Nuclear Liquid-Gas Phase Transition:
Under the influence of heat and pressure nuclear matter is expected to undergo a liquid-gas phase transition. This is the boiling point of nuclear matter. Report on recent experiment showing fragmentation of nuclei into large clusters (droplets) at intermediate energies (several 100 MeV/u) which are interpreted in terms of such a phase transition. Discuss the theoretical connection of these experiments with a phase transition from a nuclear liquid to a nuclear gas phase. (Jacak)
Carbon 14 Dating:
Radiometric dating with carbon 14 is a widely accepted process for determining the age of plant and animal remains. The utility of carbon 14 for radiometric dating follows from the slow decay rate of carbon 14, which has only recently been understood. (Hemmick)
Topology, Spin and Symmetry in nucleons and nuclear collisions:
Parity violation & Electro-Weak physics: low energy probes of high energy physics

Topics in Elementary Particle Physics

Discovery of the Top Quark:
Discuss the discovery and the measurements of top quark production cross section and the top quark mass by the DØ and CDF experiments. Discuss the signatures and methods used, and the significance of the precise measurement of the top quark mass for the prediction of the Higgs boson mass. (McCarthy, Hobbs,Meade)
Search for the Higgs Boson:
Discuss the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson carried out at LEP, at the upgraded TeVatron, and at the Large Hadron Collider. What are the different strategies as function of the mass and the prospects for success? (Hobbs, Rijssenbeek,Tsybychev,Meade)
Precision Measurement of the Z Boson Parameters:
Measurements at the SLAC SLC collider and the CERN LEP collider of the Z boson mass, width, and production cross section. Relevance to tests of the Standard Model. (Hobbs, Rijssenbeek, Gonzalez-Garcia,Meade)
Quantum Chromo-Dynamics:
Discuss the gauge theory of QCD. Discuss recent results on high energy jet production in the framework of perturbative QCD calculations and experimental measurement techniques by the DØ and CDF collaborations. (McCarthy, Sterman)
Large Extra dimensions and Grand Unification at the Electroweak Scale:
Discuss the recent theoretical developments in trying to obtain Grand Unification of the elementary forces in the neighborhood of the electroweak scale (1 TeV) by postulating the existence of "large" (µm to mm) extra dimensions. Review existing and ongoing experimental research in gravity at the sub-millimeter scale, and predictions for physics at the Tevatron and the large hadron collider LHC at CERN. (Van Nieuwenhuizen, Hobbs, Rijssenbeek,Meade)
Parton Structure of the Proton:
How do we measure the quark and gluon distributions in the proton? How do they vary with q-squared? What is the spin content of the proton? (Sterman, McCarthy)
Precision Measurement of the W Boson Mass:
Discuss the precision measurement of the W mass at the FNAL TeVatron collider by the DØ and CDF collaborations and by the four LEP collaborations. Discuss the measurement methods and the achieved precision. Explain its importance as a test of the Standard Model, as well as the ultimate test of one's understanding of the detector. (Rijssenbeek, McCarthy)
Detection of Neutrinos from the Sun:
Discuss the major ongoing experiments (Super-Kamiokande, SNO, Davis, Gallex/GNO, Sage) that measure the flux of solar neutrinos. Give their latest results and the implications of these results on standard solar models and the Standard Electroweak model. Summarize the concrete plans for new experiments. (Jung, McGrew, Yanagisawa, Gonzalez-Garcia)
Detection of Neutrinos from Supernovae:
Neutrinos from the supernova SN1987a are the only astrophysical neutrinos observed other than solar neutrinos. Discuss the supernova neutrino production mechanism, observation of neutrinos from SN1987a, experimental observation methods and future prospects. (Jung, Yanagisawa)
Atmospheric Neutrinos and Neutrino Oscillations:
Discuss the origin of atmospheric neutrinos and the expected fluxes of electron-type and muon-type neutrinos. Discuss the experimental measurements that differ from the predicted values and possible explanations for the discrepancy. And finally discuss the recent Super-Kamiokande results that show evidence for neutrino oscillations, and supporting evidences from other experiments. (Jung, McGrew, Yanagisawa,Gonzalez-Garcia)
Long Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments and Lepton Mixing Matrix:
Observations of neutrino oscillations by the underground experiments in the atmospheric and solar neutrinos have revolutionized the particle physics. There are efforts to further confirm this findings using accelerator produced neutrino beams and to measure the lepton mixing matrix elements, which doesn't exist in the Standard Model. Give the latest results from the K2K experiment and summarize the plans for new experiments (MINOS, CNGS and JHFnu). (Jung, McGrew, Yanagisawa, Shrock, Gonzalez-Garcia)
The Nature and Magnitude of the Neutrino Mass:
The neutrino oscillation signal observed by several experiments implies that neutrinos have a small, but finite mass. Discuss the implication of neutrino mass for the standard model of particle physics and what is known about the mass from neutrino oscillation experiments, direct mass searches,and neutrinoless double beta-decay experiments. Describe the experimental techniques use in either a direct mass, or a double beta-decay search.(McGrew,Gonzalez-Garcia,Shrock,Meade)
Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Events:
Two ground based experiments: AGASA and HiRES have claimed to observe cosmic ray events beyond so called "GZK cut-off". These events are the highest known particle interaction events (~1020 eV). Explain the GZK cut-off. Give the latest results from these experiments and explore possible scenarios/explanations for these extraordinary events. Summarize the plans for new experiments. (Jung, McGrew, Yanagisawa, Gonzalez-Garcia, Marx)
Search for Proton Decay:
Discuss why many GUT theories require proton decay. Give an overview of the experimental situation, and present the current results and limits. (Jung, McGrew, Yanagisawa, Shrock,Meade)
Search for Supersymmetric Particles:
Discuss the basic concepts of supersymmetry, and search techniques. Present recent results and future prospects for the discovery of supersymmetry. (Hobbs, Jung, van Nieuwenhuizen, Shrock,Tsybychev,Meade)
CP Violation in K Decay:
Review the evidence for CP violation and outline the phenomenology of the K0-anti-K0 system. Discuss recent measurements of CP violation and the prospect for further progress. (McCarthy, Shrock,Meade)
Mixing and CP Violation in the B-Bbar System:
Description of the theoretical basis and experimental techniques, including recent results and future prospects with the Fermilab TeVatron Collider detectors and B-factories. (Hobbs, Rijssenbeek, Tsybychev,Meade)
g-2 Experiment:
Review the current status of the BNL g-2 experiment and its interpretation as indirect evidence for SUSY production. Why is this important? (McCarthy, Rijssenbeek, Shrock,Meade)
String Theory:
Review string theories and dualities. Describe M theory. (Siegel, Rocek)

Topics in Astronomy

High-redshift Galaxies:
The formation and early evolution of galaxies. (Lanzetta)
Galactic Black Hole Binaries:
X-ray observations of binary black hole systems present challenges to conventional theory. Describe the issues and possible solutions. (Hemmick, Lattimer)
Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis:
Describe the present understanding of nucleosynthesis and discuss resulting constraints on particle physics and cosmology. (Lanzetta)
Quasar Absorption Lines:
What do they tell us about intervening galaxies and gas. (Lanzetta)
Type II Supernovae:
Discuss the process of explosive star death in detail. Or, discuss the observational and theoretical understanding of how the ejecta interact with the interstellar medium, and produce what we see as supernova remnants. (Swesty, Hemmick, Calder)
Neutron (Quark?) Stars:
Discuss the structure, "birth", and evolution of neutron stars. Discuss recent measurements of the radius of an isolated nearby neutron star. (Walter, Hemmick, Lattimer)
Dark Matter in Galaxies:
Discuss the discovery of invisible ("dark") matter in our and other galaxies. Discuss its proposed distribution and form, and the various proposed types of dark matter. What are its cosmological implications? (Lanzetta)
Microwave Background, its Fluctuations and Dark Energy:
Discuss the discovery of the cosmic microwave background. Focus on recent measurements of the fluctuations of the microwave background. Include recent balloon experiment results. What are the cosmological implications of these results? (Lanzetta)
Gamma-ray Bursts:
Discuss the basic properties of gamma-ray bursts and the post-1997 developments in our understanding of these cosmic fireworks. (Hemmick, Lattimer)
Extrasolar Planets:
Discuss the techniques used to find planets around other stars, the results of searches to date, and the implications for our understanding of solar-system formation. (Peterson, Simon)
Type Ia Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe:
Give a critical assessment of recent evidence from supernova studies that the cosmological constant is non-zero, and discuss the implications of a non-zero cosmological constant. (Lanzetta)
Type Ia Supernovae Explosion Models:
Describe the theoretical picture of a Type Ia supernova explosion. Discuss the current outstanding questions. (Zingale, Calder)
Type I X-ray Bursts:
Explain the physics of Type I X-ray bursts, summarizing the observational properties and the theoretical model. Explain their importance in determining the properties of the underlying neutron star. (Zingale)
Classical Novae:
Describe classical novae and their role in the production of intermediate mass elements. Discuss the underlying theory and the problem of envelope enrichment. (Zingale, Calder, Walter)
Star and Planet Formation:
Describe what we know about the process, including the role of the interstellar medium and the nature of circumstellar disks. (Metchev, Walter, Simon)
Solar flares:
What new light do the recent TRACE images/movies throw on the interaction between magnetic fields and the plasma in the solar atmosphere? (Walter)
Accretion Processes from an Observations Point of View
Mass transfer in cataclysmic variables and X-ray binaries. Includes classical novae and X-ray bursters. Also accretion in pre-main sequence stars. Active and passive disks. (Walter)
Brown Dwarfs
What they are and how they form. Describe their atmospheric characteristics. (Metchev, Walter, Simon)
Magnetic Processes in Stellar Atmospheres
Stellar chromospheres and coronae. Magnetic activity (could subsume the stellar flares topic). Magnetic dynamos. Evolution of magnetic activity. (Walter)
Is Pluto a planet?
Pluto was recently declared a "dwarf planet." Why is this important? Kuiper Belt objects and observations thereof. (Simon)
Gravitational Radiation
Discuss the concept of gravitational radiation, the astrophysical sources of gravitational radiation and/or the physics and design of gravitational wave detectors, including methods of extracting super-weak signals (Lattimer, Swesty, Calder)

Topics in Accelerator Physics

See instructor.


Name Room Telephone
Alan Calder ESS 457A 2-1176
Abhay Deshpande Physics C101 2-8109
Axel Drees Physics C105 2-8114
Rod Engelmann Physics D106 2-8087
Concha Gonzalez-Garcia (Away this semester) Math Tower 6-115A 2-7971
Fred Goldhaber ITP, MT6-113 2-7975
Paul Grannis Physics D142 2-8088
Tom Hemmick Physics C107 2-8111
John Hobbs Physics D140 2-8107
Barbara Jacak Physics C102 2-6041
Dimtri E Kharzeev kharzeev "at" Physics C109 631-344-7231
Chang Kee Jung Physics D141 2-8108
Ken Lanzetta ESS 456 2-8222
James Lattimer ESS 455 2-8227
Michael Marx Physics D-135 2-8102
Robert McCarthy Physics D-104 2-8086
Clark McGrew Physics D134 2-8299
Stanimir Metchev ESS-452 2-1302
Deane Peterson ESS 454 2-8223
Michael Rijssenbeek (Away this semester) Physics D134 2-8099
Martin Rocek ITP MT6-116A 2-7965
Mike Simon ESS-453 2-8226
Robert Shrock ITP D146 2-7986
Gene Sprouse Physics C109 2-8118
Edward Shuryak Physics C-139 2-8127
George Sterman ITP MT6-115A 2-7967
Doug Swesty ESS 463 2-8055
Derek Teaney Physics C-135 2-4489
Dmitri Tsybychev Physics D-140 2-8106
Jianwei Qiu BNL Phone 631-344-217 Email: jqiu "at"
Peter van Nieuwenhuizen ITP MT6-110 2-7972
Fred Walter ESS 459 2-8232
Chiaki Yanagisawa Physics D138 2-8105
Ismail Zahed Physics C-141 2-8129
Michael Zingale ESS 440 2-8225
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