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:
- Searches for physics beyond the Standard Model;
- 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.
UNH NPG welcomes a new faculty member
Dr. Elena Long has joined the Physics Department and the Nuclear and Particle Physics Group at UNH in the Fall 2017. She has an active and growing research program at Jefferson Lab, which centers on a novel tensor-polarized deuterium target, which will be used in a number of experiments that seek to attain a deeper understanding of the structure of deuterium. Her work has been recognized with a JSA Post Doctoral Fellow Research Award and the JSA Promising Young Scientist Award, and was highlighted in the Department of Energy’s 2015 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science. In her current post-doc position at UNH, she has already worked on the construction of the polarized target lab in DeMeritt Hall, and has mentored multiple graduate and undergraduate students. She has actively worked to improve the inclusion of under-served and under-represented students in the STEM fields. She served as the VP of Diversity and Inclusion with oSTEM, founded the LGBT+Physicists organization, served as a member of the APS Committee on LGBT Issues, and is the Chair in a developing APS Forum on Diversity and Inclusion. This work has been featured in Nature, Scientific American, Inside Higher Ed, and elsewhere.
Photo credit: Kandice Carter, JLab.