Particle Physics & Astrophysics
Three theoretical physicists have taken an important step toward eliminating theoretical ambiguities from the staggeringly complicated mathematics used to explore the interactions of quarks, the tiniest known bits of matter inside protons and neutrons, and gluons, the enigmatic particles responsible for keeping them trapped there. Simplifying these calculations can make them easier for other particle theorists to perform and lead to more accurate predictions for experimental particle physicists to test.
For the 41st annual Particle Physics & Astrophysics Department’s SLAC Summer Institute (SSI), organizers introduced a successful new feature.
In addition to hearing the traditional program of high-level physics lectures and enjoying the social events, the particle physics graduate students formed teams to work on one of four mini-projects during the two-week institute held July 8–19. They reported their findings on the penultimate day.
A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced light with the highest energy ever measured from such an event.
Two SLAC-affiliated professors were recently elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Artie Bienenstock, professor emeritus of photon science at SLAC and member of the National Science Board, and Peter Michelson, a SLAC and Stanford astrophysicist and Stanford professor, will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 12 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Physicists operating an experiment located half a mile underground in Minnesota reported this weekend that they have found possible hints of dark-matter particles.
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy press release
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) announced today that Dr. Steven M. Kahn will assume the role of Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project effective July 1, 2013. Dr. Kahn will succeed Dr. Sidney C. Wolff and retain his current affiliation with SLAC and Stanford.
The search for dark matter runs deep with physicists Blas Cabrera and Bernard Sadoulet, who have chased this mystery far underground and will be recognized for their work as joint recipients of the 2013 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics. The prize is named for SLAC's founding director, Wolfgang "Pief" Panofsky, and awarded by the American Physical Society.
Scientists studying neutrinos have found with the highest degree of sensitivity yet that these mysterious particles behave like other elementary particles at the quantum level. The results shed light on the mass and other properties of the neutrino and prove the effectiveness of a new instrument that will yield even greater discoveries in this area.