Why does the space shuttle returning to Earth cause two separate sonic booms?
By Matthias Grosse Perdekamp
July 20, 2012
Physics Illinois alumnus John Koster shared the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider & Alternating Gradient Synchrotron Thesis Award 2012 with Len K. Eun of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The researchers were recognized for their outstanding research conducted at the accelerator facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The award was presented by BNL’s Steve Vigdor, Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics, at the RHIC & AGS Annual Users’ Meeting in June. Each honoree received a certificate and a check for $3,000, and presented their findings at the users’ meeting.
Koster, who is now employed by the Japanese Institute for Physical and Chemical Research, RIKEN, in Wako, Japan, as a postdoctoral researcher at BNL was recognized for his work on spin asymmetries in polarized proton-proton collisions, as well as for the development of two compact electromagnetic calorimeters for the PHENIX detector at RHIC.
Koster’s thesis focused on the unexpected large single transverse spin asymmetries (SSA) observed in high-energy polarized hadron collisions. Koster developed the instrumentation required to measure SSAs for hadrons produced at small scattering angles with high transverse momentum, pT, using the PHENIX detector at RHIC.
It is thought that the SSA are a consequence of the strong nuclear interaction which is mediated by gluons. Measurements at high pT test theoretical ideas that SSAs originate dynamically from interactions based on correlated exchange of multiple gluons.
The electromagnetic calorimeters were developed with the support of the National Science Foundation, NSF 02-44889, and important in kind contributions from the Kurchatov Institute in Russia, Hiroshima University in Japan, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
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