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DE-SC0024606: HBCU Collider Consortium

Award Status: Active
  • Institution: Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
  • UEI: W8LKB16HV1K5
  • DUNS: 623751831
  • Most Recent Award Date: 11/03/2023
  • Number of Support Periods: 1
  • PM: Bryson, Tasia
  • Current Budget Period: 09/01/2023 - 08/31/2024
  • Current Project Period: 09/01/2023 - 08/31/2028
  • PI: Scarlett, Carol
  • Supplement Budget Period: N/A

Public Abstract

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at BNL has made many notable discoveries over the past two decades of operation, yet there are still new discoveries being made.  In particular, with the upgrade of PHENIX to sPHENIX, for the first time at RHIC there will be a detector capable of high rate data acquisition to exploit the full luminosity of a mature RHIC, and full jet reconstruction capability using hadronic calorimeters.  The three HBCU’s on this team proposal, Howard University, Florida A&M University (FAMU), and Texas Southern University (TSU), formed the HBCU Collider Consortium in 2019 to initiate the formation of a collaborative research group across our institutions that would join the PHENIX and sPHENIX collaborations, in order to exploit the possibility of discoveries with the two experiments.  Two of the institutions in this proposal comprise 50% of all HBCU’s that offer a PhD with a specialization in nuclear physics.  Our group was initially funded by a small NSF EiR grant that started in 2019 and ends this fiscal year.  The initial funding has already supported the effort of 4 graduate students.  Two of these students analyzed UPC J/Psi production in PHENIX for their theses, as well as testing of LAPPD photosensors at Fermilab’s test beam facility, and contributing to the sPHENIX Minimum Bias Detector (MBD) development, testing, simulation, and online and offline software.  Those two students now have PhDs in Particle Physics.  One is now an instructor at Howard University while the other is returning as a Postdoc Assistant to continue the collaboration.  The consortium will build on its successful track record, by continuing to train graduate students in nuclear physics techniques.  We have laboratories at each university and a strong commitment from Brookhaven National Laboratory as a partner institution to develop a next generation of talent.

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