Jefferson Lab > Accelerator > Student Outreach
Privacy and Security Notice

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.

Experimental Nuclear Physics

PROJECT TITLE:
Development and characterization of Detector Systems for Hall C

PROJECT MENTORS:
Dr. Brad Sawatzky (brads@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The student will assist in the setup and test of one or more detector packages to be used in the 12 GeV experimental program in Hall C. The student(s) will learn how to operate an oscilloscope, setup a data acquisition system, develop a trigger, and analyze cosmic ray data.

PREREQUISITES: Familiarity with programming (C++) is strongly encouraged.


PROJECT TITLE:
Find the proton radius from electron scattering

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Douglas Higinbotham (doug@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
I am looking for a student who is good at programming and who want to learn about statistical analysis to come up with a rigorous way of extracting the proton radius from electron scattering data. We will do this by using a Monte Carlo to randomly pick a function, an offset and randomization of the data (just like real life) and see how well we can return the input result. In particular, we likely will be focus on using the Pade' Approximate though if a better extrapolations function is found all the better.

Prerequisites: Need to be good at programming. The particular language is not important. Willing to learn about statistical analysis and curious to learn about the proton radius puzzle.


Theoretical Nuclear Physics

PROJECT TITLE:
Quark distributions in the neutron

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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
While much is known about how quarks and gluons make up a proton, the analogous structure of the neutron is not as well understood. This is especially true for quarks that carry a large fraction "x" of the neutron's momentum. A global analysis of quark momentum distributions is being carried out at Jefferson Lab, in collaboration with theorists and experimentalists nationwide, aimed at accurately describing the structure of the neutron and proton 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 at large x.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Assist with the derivation of theoretical formulas for observables in electron-nucleon scattering and related experiments. Run computer programs to calculate scattering amplitudes and cross sections 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. python, Mathematica, Fortran) is desirable. 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.


Accelerator Physics

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

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Pashupati Dhakal (dhakal@jlab.org)

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 PATICIPATION:
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.

PREREQUISITES:
Good experimental skills, data analysis


 

PROJECT TITLE:
Electron beam dynamics modelling and measurement

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Fay Hannon (fhannon@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The electron source for the accelerator at JLab is a photocathode placed inside an electron gun. A high DC voltage is applied to electrodes inside the gun to accelerate bunches of electrons away from the photocathode. The electrons are far from travelling at relativistic speeds at this point, so the bunch expansion from coulomb repulsion is noticeable. Having an understanding of what is happening to the electron bunches in this region is incredibly important as degradation cannot be reversed further downstream. This project aims to calculate what the electron bunches will look like and then compare this with measurements in the lab.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
The student will learn to predict how electron bunches in the injector behave through particle tracking simulations. This will give the student an insight into how charged particles behave and are manipulated in accelerators. They will also have an opportunity to assist with measurements in the lab. This will be used to assess the validity of their modelling and gain knowledge of the diagnostics used in measurement.

PREREQUISITES:
Basic electromagnetic theory. But most of all, enthusiasm!


PROJECT TITLE:
Spin tracking simulations in Electron Ion Collider

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. F. Lin (fanglei@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Numerical simulations of spin dynamics in a storage ring.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Introductory-level code development, running existing simulation codes, data analysis

PREREQUISITES:
calculus, E&M, Linux, basic programming


PROJECT TITLE:
Compton Scattering in the High-Field Regime

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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
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 PATICIPATION:
A student involved in this project will learn about Compton/Thomson  scattering, as well as computer programming and simulations.


PROJECT TITLE:
Beam dynamics simulations in Electron Ion Collider

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. V. Morozov (morozov@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Design of accelerator components and simulation of beam dynamics

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Writing scripts, using existing accelerator design and simulation codes, data analysis

PREREQUISITES:
Calculus, E&M, Linux, basic programming


PROJECT TITLE:
Bubble Chamber Experiment for Low Energy Astrophysics

PROJECT MENTOR:
Dr. Riad Suleiman (suleiman@jlab.org)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The bubble chamber experiment is scheduled for beam test from May 30 2016 to June 20 2016. The project requires the students to help with the setup, data taking, and analysis of the experiment

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Student will learn basics of experimental physics

PREREQUISITES:
Programming experience is useful but not essential.


PROJECT TITLE:
Build a Stewart Platform

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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Participate in building a so-called Stewart platform, a hexapod device that can precisely set pitch-roll-yaw without correlated position motion in order to remotely and precisely set the Pockels cell which makes the polarized laser light for the electron gun. By the summer a platform should be ready for
testing. We will study sensitivity of polarized laser light passing through the cell to pitch-roll-yaw. The project would be to build a polarization analyzer using the commercial components and study the Stewart platform.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Assist in testing the Stewart Platform


PROJECT TITLE:
Characterization of Boron Nitride Nanto tubes

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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Characterization of the BNNT (boron nitride nanomaterial) for use as a cryosorber. Make measurements of how well it works for the pressure in a vacuum system. Other parameters to study are emissivity and thermal conduction that could make a nice series of experiments

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Measurements and data analysis


PROJECT TITLE:
Measurement of energy spread of electrons from different photocathodes

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

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Measurement of the energy spread of an emitted electron beam from different photocathodes used at JLab.

REU STUDENT PATICIPATION:
Measurements and data analysis