Award-Dr. Roxanne Springer
I joined the Physics Department at Duke as an Assistant Professor in January 1999. I am an experimental particle physicist, specializing in the study of the fundamental building blocks of matter and their interactions. My research involves the conceptualization and construction of large experiments that essentially work as microscopes, detecting energy signatures of the decay of extremely small massive particles.
The most pressing question in the field of particle physics today is centered on the existence of a new particle called Higgs. Christened by Nobel laureate Leon Lederman as the 'God Particle', the Higgs lies at the heart of the Standard Model, a unifying theoretical framework describing all fundamental interactions. Over the last two decades, the Standard Model has been tested to high precision by particle physics experiments. Since the Higgs is required in this theory, its discovery is an experimental challenge of great interest.
One of the best ways to constrain the mass of the Higgs is through the precision measurement of the mass of the W particle, the carrier of the Electroweak force. The W mass is sensitive to quantum-mechanical vacuum fluctuations into new, heavy particles such as the Higgs. The precision measurement of the W mass is the focus of my research. I have currently achieved a precision of 0.1%, the best single measurement so far.
The next stage of my research will be performed at the CDF experiment at Fermilab. By exploiting the new accelerator complex at Fermilab, there will be a unique opportunity to measure the W mass and search for the Higgs with unprecedented sensitivity. This research program will be the centerpiece of the particle physics community for the next 5 years.
I am excited by the research opportunity I have as an assistant professor at Duke. The department and the University foster an environment of intellectual freedom where new ideas can flourish. I am enthusiastic about the support I have received and look forward to being a part of this department.
Last modified: 28-Jan-99