Potential projects/topics: Particle Physics Detectors; Measuring cosmic rays
Required qualifications: Familiar with programming; Python/Jupyter environments; C++ would help, too. Affinity to work with some basic electronics.
Direct mentor: Faculty/P.I., Other Research Associate
Student Project Titles List
Cosmic Ray Muon Detector Project
Improving Electron Identification using Artificial Neural Networks
The nuclear physics research group at Rice University studies the physics properties of heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In the 15 years that the STAR detector has been operating at RHIC, we have learned that heavy-ion collisions at RHIC produce a 4-trillion degree new state of matter called the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP). In this state of matter, like the state of the universe a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the fundamental building blocks of nuclear matter behave as free particles. Investigating the details of these collisions in a laboratory setting is a direct study of the properties of the strong nuclear force that governs the behavior of quarks and gluons. This strong force is described by the theory of Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD). Discoveries in this field of research are also important to cosmology, the study of the early universe, and to condensed-matter physics.