Nuclear Physics Experiment

The Nuclear Physics Experiment group is actively pursuing a wide range of research topics in the field of relativistic heavy ion collisions. 
RHICThe group includes three Ohio State physics faculty, three physics graduate students, three postdoctoral research associates and typically several undergraduate students. It is well supported by the National Science Foundation. Experiments are performed at the high energy accelerator facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory where the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) has been in operation since 2000 (STAR Experiment), and at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, where an even higher energy collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has recently become operational, with new data from heavy ion collisions at the ALICE Experiment already leading to new physics.
RHICEach experiment typically involves several graduate students, one or two postdocs, and faculty from Ohio State. Graduate students are involved in every aspect of the work, from equipment design through the actual measurements, to data reduction and analysis, and manuscript preparation. Students acquire many experimental skills such as knowledge and use of electronics and computers and design and use of mechanical equipment. The variety of skills obtained is reflected in the positions obtained by our graduate students after they finish their doctoral degrees. While many are presently in academic positions, others have entered such fields as geophysics, satellite communications and medical physics.
Current physics research topics include:
  • Relativistic heavy-ion collisions
  • Boson interferometry studies for pion/kaon source sizes
  • Nuclear equation of stateNuclear
  • Collective effects and flow
  • Miniature black hole production in proton-proton collisions
  • Study of quark-gluon plasma
  • Transverse momentum distributions (pion, kaon, proton, antiproton)
  • Monte Carlo simulations of relativistic heavy-ion collisions
  • Silicon drift detector development

Nuclear Physics Experiment faculty

Thomas J. Humanic, Professor
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1979
Relativistic proton and heavy ion collisions
CERN Large Hadron Collider
ALICE experiment
Boson interferometry
Extra-dimensional physics
Collision model calculations
Michael A. Lisa, Professor
PhD, Michigan State University, 1993
Relativistic heavy ion collisions;
nuclear equation of state and study of quark-gluon plasma
Collective effects
Intensity interferometry
Evan R. Sugarbaker, Professor Emeritus
PhD, University of Michigan, 1976
Spin, isospin character of nucleons in nuclear matter
Neutrino detection
Relativistic heavy-ion collisions