NPL News Now

January 2022
Dr. Mike Phipps Successfully Defends Thesis
Dr. Mike Phipps successfully defended his thesis in December 2021. Mike’s work involved development of ATLAS new Reaction Plane Detector (RPD) along with performance projections for physics observables. This starts with a review of past ψ1-based physics measurements. The radiation levels expected during Runs 3 and 4 are then quantified and radiation studies discussed that led to the selection of the detector's radiation hard active material. Then the design itself will be presented and features and biases of this design explored through simulation. This allows for performance-based design optimization and provides the level of understanding necessary to reconstruct the detector's response as precisely as possible. A number of machine learning-based approaches to this reconstruction will be presented that allow for resolution improvements of up to 12%. These competitive simulation-based projection results will be compared to the resolutions to which other experiments have measured ψ1, and finally, projections will be presented for several Run 4 optimization strategies that may boost performance by an additional 35%.

October 2021
Key Magnet Installed at sPHENIX Detector

After years of careful planning, crews at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory installed an enormous superconducting magnet that will be the centerpiece of the sPHENIX detector. sPHENIX is an ongoing upgrade to the PHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a DOE Office of Science user facility for nuclear physics research.

September 2021
Dr. Tom Neuliner Successfully Defends Thesis

Dr. Tom Neulinger successfully defended his thesis on Tue. Sep. 21. Tom’s work involved measurements of the coating materials for the neutron EDM experiment at ILL (panEDM). Using ultracold neutrons from the SUN-2 superfluid helium source at the ILL, Tom measured the storage time from 10 K to 300 K for Cytop, a commercial fluoropolymer, and for deuterated polyethylene. These coatings have properties useful both for coating the source volume of the upgraded SuperSUN source, as well as for the target chamber of the panEDM experiment itself.