An Indiana University team of physicists has won a three year, $5.4 million National Science Foundation award to continue its study of the inner workings of the atom’s nucleus.
The members of the team, several dozen strong, are affiliated with IU’s Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter.
IU physicists have already helped researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory study how minute particles called gluons contribute to the angular momentum of protons.
With this new grant, the IU team will continue to help the effort to learn about the composition and movement of the most elementary particles known to humankind.
Gluons hold quarks together in an atom’s proton. Quarks and gluons are among the smallest things particle physicists have identified. Gluons are so tiny that they are considered massless, actually measured in the billionths of a millimeter.
The IU team also will aid researchers at Fermilab in the search for new types of neutrinos, which are subatomic particles created by nuclear reactions in the sun.
Study of these potential new neutrinos may well affect cosmologist’s estimate of the expansion rate of the early universe.
The IU team includes physics department members Will Jacobs, Lisa Kaufman, Chen-yu Liu, Josh Long, Hans-Otto Meyer, Hermann Nann, William Snow, Ed Stephenson, Anselm Vossen, and Scott Wissink, as well as several post doctorates, graduate students, and undergrads.