Friday, April 17, 2009
GlueX experiment takes big step forward with DOE ground breaking
Participants in the ground-breaking at Jefferson Lab were (from left to right) JLab director Hugh Montgomery, upgrade project manager Claus Rode, Zisis Papandreou from the University of Regina, Curtis Meyer of CMU, George Lolos of the University of Regina, Matt Shepherd of Indiana University, upgrade deputy manager Allison Lung, Hall D scientist Elton Smith, and interim Hall leader Eugene Chudakov.
On April 14, 2009, the official ground breaking for a $310,000,000 upgrade to the Jefferson Lab facility in Newport News Virginia took place. A key part of this project is a new experimental facility to help physicists understand why quarks are trapped inside the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus of an atom. Carnegie Mellon physicist Curtis Meyer is the spokesperson of the Gluonic Excitations Experiment or GlueX and was on hand at Jefferson Lab for the groundbreaking.
This is a huge step forward for the project, on which Curtis Meyer has been a major participant since its inception in 1997. Participants at Carnegie Mellon have been instrumental in getting this project endorsed by the national nuclear science community and then endorsed by the Department of Energy.
The upgrades to the existing facility and experiments as well as the construction of the new Hall D complex and the GlueX experiment are expected to be completed in 2015. The GlueX experiment will run for about 10 years, while it will search for an exotic form of matter that carries the signature of the force that confines quarks inside the nucleus of the atom.
During the next several years, members of the CMU medium energy physics group will be busy building a major portion of the GlueX experiment. Construction will take place in Wean Hall and will involve researchers at all levels from undergraduates to faculty as a well as technicians. In addition to the construction, CMU is also involved in developing the analysis tools to coax the signal out of the anticipated petabytes of data which will be collected by GlueX each year it runs. This analysis will involve large-scale parallel computing over very large data sets to identify signature distributions in the data.
In addition to the local activities at Carnegie Mellon, Meyer is also the spokesperson of the international collaboration that will build and operate the GlueX experiment.
An artist's rendering of the Hall D complex which will house the GlueX experiment.
Curtis Meyer standing on the site of the future Hall D complex.