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ODU/Jlab REU Program

List of Research Projects

Some of the available research projects are listed here. Go to the previous REU research abstracts link to see the types of projects done in previous years. Please note that the exact project listed below may not be available. We will help you find a related project in the field of your choice, Experimental and Theoretical Nuclear Physics and Accelerator Physics. You can also choose to name the field without choosing a project.

Nuclear Physics

PROJECT TITLE:
Development and Testing of a Radial Time Projection Chamber

PROJECT MENTORS:
Prof. Gail Dodge (gddge@odu.edu) and Prof. Stephen Bueltmann(sbueltma@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
In order to study the structure of the neutron we are preparing for an experiment (known as BONuS) in which we will scatter electrons from deuterium targets. The BONuS experiment has been identified by the Jefferson Lab Program Advisory Committee as a high impact measurement that should be run early in the 12 GeV era, and is currently scheduled for 2018. By identifying low momentum, backward recoiling protons, we can preferentially select events in which the electron scattered from the neutron in the deuteron. To detect those low momentum protons, we are building a Radial Time Projection Chamber (RTPC), which uses Gaseous Electron Multiplier (GEM) detector technology. In summer 2017 we will be testing a prototype RTPC, together with the electronics that will enable us to read out the signals. Of particular concern is the time profile, amplitude and stability of the signals from different parts of the detector, as well as the performance of the digital electronics.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will learn about GEM detectors and learn how
to test them, both in a flat test bed and in the full RTPC curved prototype. The student will use
data acquisition and analysis techniques to investigate the performance of the prototype detector.
Further, the student will investigate the physics of particle interactions with matter in order to understand the test results.


PROJECT TITLE:
Quark momentum and spin distributions in the nucleon

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Wally Melnitchouk (wmelnitc@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
While much has been learned about how quarks and gluons make up a nucleon, many aspects of the nucleon's flavor and spin structure are still not understood. This is especially true for quarks that carry a large fraction "x" of the nucleon's momentum. A global analysis of quark momentum and spin distributions is being carried out at Jefferson Lab, in collaboration with theorists and experimentalists nationwide, aimed at accurately describing the structure of the proton and neutron in the large-x region. This project will involve computation of several new physical effects, which have not been included in previous analyses, that are important for reliably extracting quark structure information from electron scattering and other reactions.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Assist with the derivation of theoretical formulas for observables inelectron-nucleon scattering and related experiments. Run computerprograms to calculate scattering amplitudes and cross sections numerically. It is expected that this project will result in apublication in a refereed journal. Some knowledge of quantummechanics and/or nuclear and particle physics is advantageous. Familiarity with programming languages (e.g. python, Mathematica,Fortran) isdesirable. Enthusiasm for theoretical physics is essential.

 


PROJECT TITLE:
Quantum electroweak interference effects in electron-proton scattering

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Wally Melnitchouk (wmelnitc@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Exploration of new physics beyond the Standard Model of nuclear and particle physics requires precise knowledge of higher-order quantum fluctuation corrections beyond the basic tree-level approximation.In this project the effects of the interference between one-photon and one-Z boson exchange amplitudes in electron-proton scattering will be computed, which is believed to play an important role in the determination of the fundamental weak mixing angle of the Standard Model.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Assist with the derivation of theoretical formulas for observables in elastic electron-proton scattering and related experiments. Run computer programs to calculate scattering amplitudes numerically. It is expected that this project will result in a publication in a refereed journal. Some knowledge of quantum mechanics and/or nuclear and particle physics is advantageous. Familiarity with programming languages (e.g. Mathematica, Fortran) is desirable. Enthusiasm for theoretical physics is essential.


PROJECT TITLE:
Upgrade of Polarized 3He Target System for JLab 12 GeV Experiments

PROJECT MENTOR:
J. P. Chen (jpchen@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
A number of high-impact JLab 12-GeV experiments require further upgrades of the polarized 3He target system. New experiments require nearly one order of magnitude improvement of the figure-of-merit (FOM) over the world-recording performance of the existing JLab target system.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The students will work with members of the polarized 3He target group on subsystems of the target, including the high-power lasers and optics, target hardware, polarimeteries (including NMR-AFP, EPR and Pulse-NMR), and characterization of new target cells.

 


PROJECT TITLE:
Detector and data acquisition (DAQ) systems for SoLID

PROJECT MENTOR:
J. P. Chen (jpchen@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
A number of high-impact experiments have been approved to use SoLID, a new spectrometer/detector system capable of very high luminosity with large acceptance. The expected very high rates make this a real challenge. SoLID detector and DAQ systems use the cutting-edge technology and significant R&D activities are needed to be sure that the designed system will meet the challenge.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The students will work with members of the SoLID group to perform specific tests in detectors and DAQ system. They will also work on simulations of the detector performance in the expected high rate and high background environment.


PROJECT TITLE:
FADC Timing Extraction Studies and DAQ systems using FPGAs

PROJECT MENTOR:
Brad Sawatzky (brads@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
FADC timing extraction studies of a relatively new data acquisition (DAQ) technology using 250 MHz Flash Analog to Digital Converter (FADC) to sample detector data in real time and analyzing data to distinguish if the detected particle is a photon or a neutron.
Data acquisition systems with Field Programmable Gate Array trigger logic. This will involve FPGA programming and getting familiar with DAQ systems, detectors and analysis software. Also, develop slow controls for remote monitoring and logging of detector systems

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will learn detector and DAQ systems in experimental nuclear physics and understand some of the techniques used for particle identification

 


Accelerator Physics

PROJECT TITLE:
Compton Scattering in the High-Field Regime

PROJECT MENTOR:
Prof. Balsa Terzic (bterzic@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Compton Scattering in the High-Field Regime. Thomson/Compton sources of electromagnetic radiation using relativistic electrons have seen increased use in fundamental physics research in recent years. The small frequency range, or bandwidth, of the emitted radiation is highly desirable for applications in nuclear physics, medicine, and homeland security. As the intensity of the incident laser pulse involved in the scattering event increases, the bandwidth of the emitted radiation also increases. We recently showed that the increase in bandwidth may be negated through a judicious frequency modulation of the laser pulse. This project will focus on bringing these new results closer to experimental validation.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
A student involved in this project will learn about Compton/Thomson scattering, as well as computer programming and simulations


 

PROJECT TITLE:
Evaluation of Thermal Conductivity of Low Purity Ingot Niobium for SRF Applications

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Pashupati Dhakal (dhakal@jlab.org), Dr. G. Ciovati (gciovati@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Thermal conductivity is an important parameter that influences the performance of SRF cavities. Better thermal stability is required to transport the RF heat dissipated on the inner cavity surface to the liquid helium bath. The conduction of heat in metal is mostly dominated by electronic conduction over the phonon contribution. However, in superconductors the electronic contribution decreases due to the reduced number of electrons, where electrons form Cooper pairs, which do not contribute to heat conduction. At low temperature, the phonon contribution plays a significant role in the conduction of heat. The total thermal conductivity of a superconductor is the sum of the electronic conduction due to the unpaired electrons and lattice thermal conductivity.
At low temperature thermal conductivity is largely influenced by the processing parameters due to the change in crystal structure and imperfection density in the bulk of the materials. For example, the strain induced dislocations and defects and their interactions with hydrogen and magnetic flux pinning tend to reduce the phonon peak. Thus there is a need for better understanding of the cause of thermal conductivity suppression and its cure to improve the performance of SRF cavities. Furthermore, thermal conductivity is also used to estimate the residual resistivity ratio (RRR) of the materials which is a measure of the quality of metals. What should be the optimal RRR for the best SRF cavity performance is still not clear, since no clear relationship has been established between the cavity performances to the RRR of host material. Furthermore, RRR of the material drastically changes during the fabrication and processing steps. Thus, the systematic study on RRR of the material with different purity and crystal structure and comparison with the superconducting properties that limit the ultimate performance of SRF cavities is necessary.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
Student will participate on the measurement of thermal conductivity of low purity niobium materials with existing instrumentation at cryogenic temperature. May need to involve in the improvement of instrumentation


PROJECT TITLE:
Analysis of beam loss scenarios in the JLEIC ion linac

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Todd Satogata (tsatogat@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Analysis of beam loss scenarios in the JLEIC ion linac. The Jefferson Lab electron-ion collider is being designed as the next forefront nuclear physics accelerator facility for investigating details of nuclear structure. This facility requires a new linear accelerator (linac) that accelerates H- ions from kinetic energy of 5 MeV to 280 MeV. Stripping of H- ions and contributions to beam loss and accelerator activation have been observed in the SNS at Oak Ridge. Simple analytical estimates and mitigations consistent with the observed losses have recently been published. The objectives of this project are to understand the results of this recent paper, investigate the suggested mitigations as applied to the JLEIC ion linac through accelerator simulations, and extend the published results on H- intrabeam scattering.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
A student involved in this project will learn about accelerator physics of linear accelerators, particle interaction and loss calculations, and general numerical optimization techniques as applied to a particle accelerator simulation


PROJECT TITLE:
Beam breakup instabilities in a multi-pass energy recovery linac

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Todd Satogata (tsatogat@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Beam breakup instabilities in a multi-pass energy recovery linac. A collaboration between Jefferson Lab and Brookhaven National Laboratory has recently suggested modifying the CEBAF accelerator to include high-energy energy-recovery capability to study accelerator physics for next-generation electron-ion colliders. One challenge of such accelerators is the beam breakup instability, where high intensity beams create long-lived magnetic fields that act back on the beam in a potentially unstable feedback loop. The stability of this system is dependent on the accelerator configuration and RF parameters. The objective of this project is to understand beam breakup instabilities, and compare theoretical and simulation predictions for instability thresholds for this novel configuration of the CEBAF accelerator using existing measurements of new CEBAF 12 GeV upgrade RF cavities.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
A student involved in this project will learn about accelerator physics of recirculating linear accelerators, instability calculations, and accelerator simulations of beam breakup scenarios

 


PROJECT TITLE:
Thermionic Gun Controls

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Hari Areti (areti@jlab.org, hareti@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Center for Accelerator Science at ODU plans to have a thermionic electron gun for teaching, research and possibly for a future low energy electron accelerator. The electron gun will be on loan from Jefferson Lab. In order to produce electron beam pulses of desired characteristics and for safety reasons as well, a control system which can control the high voltage (up to 100 KV) and generate waveforms needs to be designed and implemented.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will learn about High Voltage and electron guns and will understand how current measurements are made.


PROJECT TITLE:
Beam Loss Monitoring System for the Upgraded Injector Test Facility

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Hari Areti (areti@jlab.org, hareti@odu.edu)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
A system to detect electron beam loss from and electron injector capable of 10 MeV energy is needed to prevent electron beam from damaging not only the beamline but experiments that are sensitive to beam excursions. A beam loss monitoring system that can shut down the electron beam in less than 100 microseconds needs to be designed and implemented. The system will use photomultiplier tubes with scintillating fiber detectors.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will learn about scintillating detectors and photomultiplier tubes.


PROJECT TITLE:
Energy Spread of Electrons from Strained Superlattice GaAs Photocathode

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Marcy Stutzman (marcy@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Measurement of energy spread of electron emission from strained superlattice GaAs high polarization photocathodes. This would involve generating an electron beam from strained superlattice GaAs, putting it through an electrostatic bend and then measuring current as a function of bend energy to determine the inherent energy spread of the electron emission. This is a critical question in the ability to use an atomic physics technique such as the Accurate Electron Spin Optical Polarimeter.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will work in the lab making measurements and analyzing the data.


PROJECT TITLE:
Robotically Controlled Stewart Platform

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Joe Grames (grames@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Build a robotically controlled Stewart platform using micro machining control code - the platform holds an electro-optic cell which requires precise alignment required for controlling the laser beam for the purpose of parity violation experiments; a robotic stage w/ decoupled rotations (Steward platform) would allow for remote study and control, e.g. when used with producing the electron beam.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will assist in the design and testing of the platform


PROJECT TITLE:
Wien Filter Spin Rotator

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Joe Grames (grames@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Modeling and testing a very high voltage Wien filter spin rotator for new, higher voltage (200-350 keV) spin-polarized electron gun being designed for future application at CEBAF and possibly an electron-ion collider. These guns require more powerful devices at the electron source that precess the beam polarization into orientations desired by Users; modeling and testing of the electric and magnetic fields in a Wien filter will provide improved beam quality and polarization control at highest beam voltages explored to date.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will learn modeling electron beam transports

 


PROJECT TITLE:
Twisted Electron Beams

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Joe Grames (grames@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Generation of twisted electron beams - testing the quantum efficiency and emission characteristics of field emission tips with high spatial coherence required to produce twisted electron beams in a photogun geometry will be explored. The production of electron beams with orbital angular momentum potentially offer a new probe, complementary to spin angular momentum, into the study of atomic, electronic or nuclear properties of matter.

REU STUDENT PARTICIPATION:
The student will participate in a developing electron beams with hither to unexplored properties.