Welcome to the web pages of the UNH Nuclear and Particle Physics Group, which is part of the Physics Department. The group is currently located in our new building, the rebuilt DeMeritt Hall, which we moved into in August 2008.The Nuclear Physics Group’s (NPG) research is aimed at two primary areas of study:

  1. Searches for physics beyond the Standard Model;
  2. Understanding the structure of the nucleon and light nuclei, and how this can be described in terms of the strong interaction and spin degrees of freedom.

These mission goals map to two of the top science questions for the 21st century: “What is Dark Matter?” (National Research Council “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century”, National Academies Press (2003)), and “What is the missing spin of the nucleon?” (Dr. T. J. Hallman, Associate Director for Nuclear Physics, DOE Office of Science, “Perspectives on the Future of Nuclear Physics in the United States”, BNL Distinguished Lecture Series June 13, 2012).

We lead several multi-national collaborations at Jefferson Lab, and are preparing for several additional experiments at this facility. Jefferson Lab is presently completing a $314M upgrade, which was highlighted as the top priority of the last NSAC (National Science Advisory Committee) report. There are two full time faculty (Maurik Holtrop, Karl Slifer). Two postdoctoral research scientists (Elena Long and Rafayel Paramuzyan) and six graduate students (Nathaly Santiesteban, Shujie Li, Toby Badman, Kyle McCarty, Ryan Zielinski, Bradley Yale, ) work in the NPG on Jefferson Lab projects. Over the past decade we have mentored nine PhDs, and more than twenty undergraduates. These students make significant contributions to our efforts both at UNH and at Jefferson Lab, where they work side by side with some of the top scientists in the field. Our main experimental efforts are:

  • The Heavy Photon Search (spokesperson: Holtrop) will search for a new gauge boson –the heavy photon– as a potential particle in a hidden sector that could also contain the Dark Matter.
  • The g2p experiment (spokesperson: Slifer) investigates the spin structure of the proton and how this affects the energy levels of hydrogen like systems.
  • The Isospin SRC experiment (spokesperson: Solvignon, Slifer) will use a tritium target to probe how short-range correlations between nucleons affect the structure of nuclei.
  • The Tensor Spin Observables at Jefferson Lab uses a novel tensor polarized solid target to measure observables that are impossible to measure without tensor polarization. The b1 experiment (spokespersons: Slifer, Solvignon, Long) recently recieved conditional approval from Jefferson Lab PAC40, as did the Azz experiment (spokespersons: Long, Solvignon, Slifer) to measure the tensor asymmetry in the x>1 region.

The NPG has a major research initiatives in DeMeritt Hall. The group is establishing a cryogenically cooled solid polarized target lab in DeMeritt Hall 103 in support of the Tensor Spin Observables program. We recently installed our new 7 Tesla superconducting solenoid which provides the target holding field. This project is a collaboration with the University of Virginia and Jefferson Lab polarized target groups.

Postdoc Position for Heavy Photon Search

The Nuclear and Particle Physics Group at the University of New Hampshire has an immediate opening for a post-doctoral research associate, who will be expected to take a leading role in the Heavy Photon Search (HPS) experiment at Jefferson Lab, Hall B. Read More about HPS.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in nuclear or particle physics and will be expected to strongly contribute to the ongoing program, but is also encouraged to propose and initiate new experiments. Strong skills in data analysis and software development will be a plus. Depending on preference, the position can be located at UNH or at JLab.

The group’s efforts are supported by the US Department of Energy. The University of New Hampshire is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of both genders and all ethniticities are strongly urged to apply. The position is available immediately and will remain open until filled.

Nathaly Santiesteban

UNH NPG welcomes a new faculty member

Dr. Sandra Nathaly Santiesteban has joined the Physics Department and the Nuclear and Particle Physics Group at UNH this Fall 2022. She has an active and growing research program at Jefferson Lab, which centers on studies of the nucleus, specifically investigating Short Range Correlations and spin.