Fermi National Laboratory

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

Face to Face
FermiNews sets out to correct an error of identity

Un-Ki Yang of the University of Rochester was awarded the fifth annual 2002 Universities Research Association thesis prize for the best Ph.D. thesis based on work at Fermilab in 2001. The award was presented by URA President Fred Bernthal at the Fermilab Users’ Meeting on June 10, 2002. Fermilab’s Visual Media Services photographed Un-Ki’s talk, and offered it on streaming video. The award was also part of the FERMINEWS coverage of the Users’ Meeting.

That’s where the glitch happened.

In FERMINEWS (vol. 25, no. 11, June 28, 2002, pg. 5), the photo of Un-Ki mistakenly ran with the caption for a photo of Benn Tannenbaum of UCLA, current chair of the Users’ Executive Committee. There was no shortage of messages offering corrections, including one stating: “If that’s Benn Tannenbaum, then I’m Queen Elizabeth II.” We thanked Her Majesty, apologized, and promised to make good on the mistaken identity. Benn Tannenbaum and Un-Ki Yang now set the record straight on who they are and what they do.


At a time when the American Physical Society makes statements regarding free energy machines, when Scientific American publishes articles on “debunking creationist nonsense” and when the federal government withdraws from treaties for reasons that have neither scientific nor technical merit, it seems clear that more scientists are needed in positions where they can influence public thought in this country. I have always been interested in the connection between science and government, and this seems like an ideal time to explore that relationship. To that end, I will be the APS Congressional Science Fellow for 2002-2003.

This Fellowship gives me the opportunity to pick a Congressional office and help them with science policy. Following a three-week orientation on government, budgets and science policy, I will spend two or three weeks interviewing with Members and Committees on the House and Senate side of the Capitol to find an office that best suits my interests. My main concerns are science education and funding for the physical sciences. I have also lobbied against the National Missile Defense program. Given recent events, however, I find myself drawn to foreign relations and intelligence.

Particle physicists share information across cultural boundaries, among countries and through language barriers. I hope to be an advocate for keeping scientific ties open among as many countries as possible.


Protons and neutrons (nucleons) are known to be composed of quarks and gluons. Interactions of quarks and gluons are described by the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). My thesis work focuses on the measurement of quark and gluon (parton) momentum distributions inside the nucleon. This work has led to a great improvement in our knowledge of the parton distributions. Experimental work on the CCFR/NuTeV neutrino experiment and phenomenological studies on all deep inelastic scattering data are both efforts that contributed to these achievements.

Precise knowledge of parton distributions is essential not only in testing QCD, but also in the search for new physics at high-energy hadron colliders. After several studies on parton distributions, I conclude my thesis with the following question, “Are we ready to use the nucleon as a tool in searching for new physics?”

Find out where I spend my wonderful life now: Behind my computer terminal, I see the LED light splashes from the Track Fitter boards, which do an online silicon track fitting every microsecond as a part of the Silicon Vertex Tracker (SVT) system in the CDF experiment. Working as a postdoc on this system of the CDF experiment at the Tevatron was a natural place for my continued exploration of hidden nature.

On the Web:
“Thesis Award Recipient Research Presentation: A Measurement of Differential Cross Sections in Charged- Current Neutrino Interactions on Iron and a Global Structure Functions Analysis,” Un-Ki Yang, June 10, 2002

Fermilab Users Executive Committee

last modified 8/9/2002   email Fermilab