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High Energy Physics Program
- Existence: 1956
Tufts University began experiments in the field of elementary particle physics when it was issued its first grant by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1957. The original contract issued by AEC funded the study of hypernuclei and strange particles in emulsions, and set the foundation for a series of bubble chamber experiments. The High Energy Physics Group at Tufts received continuous grant funding from the AEC, which became the United States Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) in1974 until President Carter established the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in 1977.
Aside from bubble chamber studies, the High Energy Physics Group was also involved in the invention of the backscattered laser beam, experiments in collider physics, exploration of heavy quarks, investigations of high energy neutrino interactions, neutrino oscillations, and theoretical studies in particle phenomenology. While early researchers performed experiments using the Berkeley Bevatron, the group also carried out extensive studies at many high energy physics laboratories including the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Cambridge Electron Accelerator (CEA), the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, Rutherford Laboratory in England, the CERN SPS near Geneva, Switzerland, and now the CERN LHC. Most recently Tufts researchers have participated in proton-antiproton experiments using the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF), in the long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment MINOS (using the 730 kilometer neutrino beam, NuMI, from Fermilab to northern Minnesota), and in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC.
Notable faculty in High Energy Physics include Professor Jacob Schneps, who has been active in the program since its foundation, Professor Julian K. Knipp, Professor Richard H. Milburn, Professor Gary R. Goldstein, Professor W. Anthony Mann, Professor William P. Oliver, Professor Austin Napier and Professor Krzysztof Sliwa as well as Professor Allan Cormack who earned a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1979. As of 2010, the Group is managed by two project directors, and employs eight faculty members. Research is contributed by faculty, visiting scientists, postdoctoral research associates, graduate and undergraduate students, and technicians. Tufts High Energy Physics Group plays a major role in advancing the global understanding of elementary particle physics through innovative research and development in the field. These advancements are supported by grants from the United States DOE, which the Group has successfully obtained for over fifty years.
Special thanks is also extended to Professor Jacob Schneps for offering his time and editorial input.