Caroline Kathrin Riedl

Research Assistant Professor


Caroline Kathrin Riedl

Primary Research Area

  • Nuclear Physics
467 Loomis Laboratory


Riedl received her diploma degree in physics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in 2001. Her diploma thesis was on (1+1)-dimensional quantum field theoretical models and massless mesons in dense nuclear matter at zero temperature. In 2002, she switched her research focus to experimental particle physics and worked at DESY (Hamburg, Germany) on HERMES data. She investigated the tensor structure of polarized deuterons in deep-inelastic electron-deuteron scattering and received her PhD with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2005. A fellowship with INFN Frascati (Italy) and a postdoc association with DESY allowed her to continue her research at HERMES. She participated in the commissioning and operation of the HERMES recoil detector and lead the analysis and publication of hard-exclusive data collected with this detector. From 2008 to 2010, Riedl was the deputy analysis coordinator of HERMES. In 2011 and 2012, she worked from DESY as main data quality manager for CMS, one of the LHC experiments at CERN, and contributed to the analysis of the Higgs-boson decay into two tau-leptons and successively into muons.

Riedl joined the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois as research assistant professor in 2013. In 2013-2015, she was the project coordinator for a detector upgrade for COMPASS at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland / Prevessin, France). She organized the prototyping, construction and assembly of a large-area planar drift chamber (DC5). The DC5 detector was constructed in the US, mostly at the Nuclear Physics Laboratory. This would not have been possible without a small army of undergraduate students. The detector parts were shipped to CERN in fall 2014 and assembled. DC5 was installed into COMPASS in May 2015 and has been successfully collecting valuable data since then. Riedl is currently the co-covener for the COMPASS polarized Drell-Yan program and the COMPASS technical coordinator. She is coordinating allocations on the NSCA supercomputer Blue Waters to process the many petabytes of COMPASS data.

Research Statement

I am interested in the structure of nucleons and nuclei. Modern approaches to investigate nuclear structure involve Transverse Momentum Dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs) and Generalized Parton Distributions (GPDs). COMPASS at CERN is currently preparing for a second year of Drell-Yan data taking in the year 2018. These data will enhance the statistical significance of the hint in the 2015 data that there is indeed a sign change between the Sivers function (a TMD) measured in Drell-Yan vs. that measured in semi-inclusive deep-inelastic scattering. Since July 2017, I serve as COMPASS technical coordinator during the changeover from the 2017 GPD run to the 2018 Drell-Yan run. I am also leading the efforts of petascale production of COMPASS data on the NSCA supercomputer Blue Waters after securing a 10M node-hour PRAC allocation.

Related news

  • Research

The most powerful supercomputer in the world for academic research has established its mission for the coming year.The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) announced that the National Science Foundation has approved allocations of supercomputing time on Frontera to 49 science projects for 2020-2021. Time on Frontera is awarded based on a project’s need for very large scale computing to make science and engineering discoveries, and the ability to efficiently use a supercomputer on the scale of Frontera.

“Our generous allocation of compute time on Frontera makes it possible to perform uniquely large-scale, data-driven simulations of key brain cell networks involved in memory with unprecedented biological realism,” Soltesz said.Another awardee, Caroline Riedl, research assistant professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, is part of a large international collaboration analyzing particle collision data from the Super Proton Synchrotron at CERN. Riedl was awarded 1.5 million hours to unravel the mass of hadrons and the quark structure of protons. Her work will analyze past particle physics experiments from the COMPASS experiment and explore new detectors for quantum chromodynamics research (COMPASS++/AMBER).”We were very excited to learn that our request for an LRAC allocation on TACC’s Frontera was approved,” Riedl said.

  • Accolades

Thirty-eight research groups at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been allocated new computation time on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This round of allocations provides over 17 million node-hours, equivalent to over half a billion core hours, and is valued at over $10.5 million, helping Illinois researchers push the boundaries of innovation and frontier science discovery.