Fermi National Laboratory

Volume 25  |  Friday, August 9, 2002  |  Number 13
In This Issue  |  FermiNews Main Page

Syracuse Joins the Search
Syracuse University adds a history of technology and leadership to search for CP violation

by Gary Ruderman

Originally Genesee College in Ohio, Syracuse University was established in 1870 on 50 acres of farmland in central New York state, promising “equal education for men and women.” This view of the campus highlights Crouse College, now the main hub for the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Music, several art studios, music practice rooms, a beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium, and Crouse’s Holtkamp Organ. The Crouse Chimes, atop Crouse College, entertain passersby several times each day. The first chancellor of Syracuse University allowed his cow to graze on campus.

But from those pastoral roots, the university has grown to be leader in the development of science and technology in New York state.

In the 1980s, Syracuse launched one of the state’s first Centers for Advanced Technology–the CASE Center—to revitalize local economic growth through technology. Last year, New York state was the second-largest sponsor, after the federal government, of research at the university.

“Syracuse spins off a lot of businesses from its CASE Center, and the Syracuse Research Corp. attracts quite a lot of very smart people,” observed U.S. Representative James T. Walsh (R-NY, 25th District). Walsh chairs the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies. The subcommittee funds basic research for NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.

The university is also on the forefront of physics research. For the first time, Syracuse University professors and students are collaborating in a Fermilab experiment, a search to validate CP violations. With Fermilab’s Joel Butler and a team of 175 scientists and students from institutions around the word, the Syracuse team will lead the most exhaustive study of heavy quarks and B-quark physics in an experiment planned for 2007. The BTeV (B-physics at the Tevatron collider) approval document credited the experiment with “great potential to discover new physics.”

Among the physics faculty at Syracuse University are Marina Artuso, Tomasz Skwarnicki, and Sheldon Stone, co-leader of the BTeV experiment at Fermilab. Their expertise—building and interpreting results from the Ring Imaging Cherenkov Counter (RICH)—is a crucial element of BTeV. Syracuse is responsible for building the RICH counter and has recently been joined by a new assistant professor, Steve Blusk. The Syracuse team is also working on building the pixel detector at the heart of the experiment.

The Syracuse group has been working with RICH counters since they were developed in the 1990s. In the mid-1990s, Stone worked at Fermilab to test the RICH counter for the CLEO experiment at Cornell University, part of Syracuse’s 22-year particpation in CLEO.

“Detectors can’t be reused,” Stone said, “since the geometry of each experiment differs and the technology changes and advances so quickly.”

For example, clearing out data from the RICH Counter for the CLEO experiment took 2.5 microseconds; BTeV has the capability to clear out the detector in just 132 nanoseconds. The group finished construction of the CLEO III RICH in August 2000, and has been taking data since then.

Originally Genesee College in Ohio, Syracuse University was established in 1870 on 50 acres of farmland in central New York state, promising “equal education for men and women.” This view of the campus highlights Crouse College, now the main hub for the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Music, several art studios, music practice rooms, a beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium, and Crouse’s Holtkamp Organ. The Crouse Chimes, atop Crouse College, entertain passersby several times each day. The BTeV experiment has four main parts: dipole magnet, pixel detector, trigger and RICH detector. The dipole magnet is centered on the interaction region, inside of which is a silicon pixel detector that tracks the particles and is coupled to a “trigger.” The computerized trigger looks at each of the estimated 7.5 million beam crossings a second and decides which are most interesting to investigate. Downstream of the pixels are other tracking detectors followed by the RICH, an electromagnetic calorimeter made from PbWO4 (lead tungstate) crystals and iron plates to detect muons. Crystal calorimeters are another specialty of Stone, who led the construction of the first such device in a magnetic field, for CLEO II.

The goal of BTeV is to conduct the most extensive study ever undertaken of CP violation in the decays of particles containing B-quarks.

“BTeV is the most important experiment that a high-energy physicist would be interested in,” said Chaouki Boulahouache, a Syracuse University graduate student earning his Ph.D. in August 2002. Boulahouache is working on parts of the BTeV pixel detector with Marina Artuso, his advisor. The 50x400-micron pixel detector is in the center of the 12-meter-long experiment.

For Orlokh Dorjkhaidav, another of the five graduate students on the Syracuse team, BTeV is a full-time summer job and a 20-hour-a-week job during the school year.

Originally Genesee College in Ohio, Syracuse University was established in 1870 on 50 acres of farmland in central New York state, promising “equal education for men and women.” This view of the campus highlights Crouse College, now the main hub for the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Music, several art studios, music practice rooms, a beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium, and Crouse’s Holtkamp Organ. The Crouse Chimes, atop Crouse College, entertain passersby several times each day. “Syracuse is not that big of a city so you study and study,” said Dorjkhaidav, a native of Mongolia. He is working on the hybrid photon detector that transforms light to electrical signals for analysis.

Joel Butler, of the lab’s Experimental Physics Projects Department, and head of the BTeV Research and Development Group, is co-leader of the experiment with Stone. Stone focuses on heavy quarks; Butler has worked for many years on photoproduction of charmed particles.

Butler explained that at the beginning of the universe—less than a second after the Big Bang— there developed a slight excess of quarks over antiquarks. As the universe cooled, the quarks and antiquarks annihilated in photons, “but the slight residual of quarks became us…”, meaning the universe and its inhabitants. The Tevatron gives experimenters the largest number of B-particles and the biggest range of things to look at since the beginning of the universe. B-quarks are produced in only 0.1 percent of all Tevatron collisions.

A Fermilab scientist since 1979, Butler has been working on building BTeV for eight years “and I’m very enthusiastic. The technology is new and exciting. We are breaking ground in particle identification, tracking and computing. The physics that comes out of it is very exciting.”

Butler added that BTeV has a National Science Foundation grant to pursue and refine fault tolerance computing—making decisions on which particles are “interesting.” Fault tolerance has promising future business applications, Butler said.

The first test of BTeV’s RICH detector is slated for next spring. “BTeV’s taken a huge amount of time,” said Stone, “and we’re still waiting for the Department of Energy” to take further action. The experimenters anticipate the $110 million project being funded by the end of 2002, with the experiment beginning late in 2007. But there are no specific appropriation plans on the table, although the recent HEPAP Subpanel on Long- Range Planning for U.S. High-Energy Physics emphasized that “it is important that we participate in some” B-physics experiments in the US, with the possibilities including “a dedicated hadronic B experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron.”

Waiting isn’t easy, but the history of the university offers a lesson in resilience.

Syracuse physicists Sheldon Stone (left), Marina Artuso and Tomasz Skwarnicki attended the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Amsterdam, Holland. The Syracuse collaboration at Fermilab is working on the pixel detector for the BTeV experiment.Syracuse University was originally Genesee College, founded in Ohio by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It moved to a 50-acre farmland area in central New York State in 1870 promoting “equal education for men and women,” according to the university’s history pages. Three years later Syracuse University moved out of rented space and dedicated its first building, the $136,000 Hall of Languages. True to the area’s rural nature, the first Chancellor allowed his cow to graze on campus.

In 1874, Syracuse offered the nation’s first bachelor of fine arts degree. The school continued to grow until World War I when 1,000 students were drafted and overall enrollment fell more than 30 percent.

The Great Depression meant a 10-percent salary cut for professors as well the elimination of the school’s 20-year-old college of agriculture, the only private agricultural school in the country. Just before World War II, the enrollment soared from 5,600 to 16,000. With the construction of more than 20 new buildings, the school’s assets rose to $200 million from $15 million. By 1946 Syracuse welcomed 9,664 returning veterans, tripling the school’s enrollment. Today, enrollment is more than 18,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students.

The institution has a host of famous grads. The College of Arts and Sciences counts writers Joyce Carol Oates, William Safire and Stephen Crane as alumni. Among prominent physicists, Rubin Braunstein, co-inventor of the light-emitting diode, is a graduate, as are Joel Lebowitz of Rutgers, Harvey Scher of the Weizman Institute and Dongqi Li of Argonne National Lab. Mark Reed of Yale, a widely quoted source on nanoelectronics and molecular electronics, received his Ph.D. at Syracuse. George Campbell, who specialized in particle physics, is now president of Cooper Union College. Eileen Collins and F. Story Musgrave have achieved milestones as NASA astronauts. Collins was the first female to pilot and command the space shuttle. Musgrave went on six space flights, and worked outside the shuttle to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993.

In sports, Syracuse has produced two of the premier running backs in football history: Jim Brown, who went on to National Football League stardom with the Cleveland Browns; and Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s outstanding college football player in 1961. Since 1980, the Syracuse football team has played in the Carrier Dome, the fifth-largest domed stadium in the U.S., and the first constructed in the Northeast region.

With its innovative roof of fiberglass fabric, the dome dominating the Syracuse skyline could serve to symbolize the university’s commitment to science and technology leadership.


On the Web:
Syracuse University
www.syr.edu


last modified 8/9/2002   email Fermilab