Why does an electrical discharge, such as lightning, have a branching pattern? Why is not the pattern in a plasma ball spherically symmetric because of the spherically symmetric electric field inside?
Professor Liss received his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984, after receiving a B.S. in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1979. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Chicago from 1984 to 1988, when he joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and to professor in 1998.
Professor Liss is an experimental high energy physicist whose research probes the fundamental nature of matter at very high energy and at very small distance scales. He has carried out research at the Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) since 1984, and more recently at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
At Fermilab, Professor Liss is a leading member of an international collaboration, the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration, which has built and operated a large multi-purpose particle detector (the CDF detector), which studies collisions between protons and antiprotons with a center-of-mass energy of 1.96 TeV. He served as the convener of the Top group at FNAL and was one of the leaders of the analysis for the discovery of the top quark. He was the Physics Coordinator for CDF for 2002-04.
Liss’ research focus has recently moved to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European physics laboratory, CERN, just outside of Geneva Switzerland. When the LHC turns on in Fall 2008, it will become the highest energy collider in the world, eclipsing the Fermilab Tevatron. Liss is a member of the ATLAS collaboration at LHC and, together with his post docs and students, works on the ATLAS muon detector system.
Collider Detector at Fermilab
The superconducting particle accelerator at Fermilab is used to store beams of protons and antiprotons at 980 GeV. The CDF group has built a large detector to investigate the nature of the interactions that occur when these beams collide head-on. Precise measurements of the properties of the W boson, top quark, and other elementary particles are being made.
ATLAS Detector at CERN
The LHC accelerator at CERN is designed to collide counter-rotating beams of protons each with an energy of 7 TeV, more than seven times the energy of the Fermilab Tevatron. The ATLAS detector at CERN is 25 meters high and 46 meters long and is comprised of roughly 100 million channels of electronics. Its purpose is to measure everything about the proton-proton collisions. The physics goals of the experiment are ambitious and include discovering the Higgs boson and particles that make up the dark matter in the universe.
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