` Graduate Seminar 599

PHY599: Graduate Seminar II: (Nuclear, Particle, Astronomy)

Spring 2015

Place: P-129 and Time: Mondays 3.30pm-4.30pm
  • must submit abstracts one week prior to scheduled talks
    be in the classroom 10 min prior to class (3.20pm) (computer setup)
  • must submit their talks (pdf format) after the talk is given (for grading and evaluation).

    Course Web Page:



    2. To address the Monday cancellations (01/26 and 02/02), there will be makeup classes on: Friday March 6th and Friday March 27th (will follow a Monday schedule). All Monday classes will meet in their assigned rooms at the assigned times on these Fridays.


    Meeting Schedule:


    date first speaker second speaker
    Time: XXX Organizational Meeting
    No Classes (seminar preparations)
    No Classes (seminar preparations)
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Spring Break (No Classes)
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY Speaker: XXX Expert: prof. YYYY
    Click on the topic for the abstract.


    • Obtain experience in giving oral presentations.
    • Learn some of what is happening in these fields.
    • Learn about research activities at Stony Brook.
    • Attend colloquia and learn about presentation/clarity.


    For electronic article access, try the university license to APS Journals (Physical Review) or the electronic preprint archive at Los Alamos); for searching published work in astronomy, the ADS abstract service is excellent. For particle physics, the web sites of large experiments can be helpful in finding publications (contact your local expert!)


    • Each student will give one 30 minute talk, with 5-10 additional minutes to allow for questions and discussion during and after the talk.
      • Make sure to stay close to the allotted time, but don't exceed the time limit. Be aware that if you speak for significantly longer than the alloted time, you may be interrupted and not be allowed to finish your presentation. This is a constraint that is consistent with the practices at many conferences.
      • Make sure your talk is not too short.
      • Make sure you have a goal with the presentation: present the essential (new) physics, provide connections (previous data/theory), present the underlying concepts, and give a compact summary.
      • Your fellow students must be able to learn something (new) from your presentation: make sure you start at a general level of knowledge.
      • Avoid long and complex derivations; provide the essence or the outline of derivations if needed
      • You are responsible for researching the literature and contacting the local experts. .
      • You MUST contact the expert when preparing your presentation.
      • Instructors or experts may be consulted on the organization, layout, and content of your presentation at any time, but you will be solely responsible for the final product. Materials used in presentations should be drawn mostly from published materials (journal papers, preprints, etc.). Photos, figures, plots and other information can be obtained from web pages. However, students are strongly discouraged from directly using other people's transparencies, including those from an expert adviser.
      • Students are strongly encouraged to arrange a practice talk in front of fellow students a few days preceding their presentation. Practice the correct presentation: attitude, position, volume, speed, and timing!
      • See the list of suggestions for hints to help prepare slides for a good presentation.
      • You are encouraged to provide an electronic version of the talk in PDF to be posted on the web page.
    • Scheduled talks may not be postponed.
    • Students must meet with an instructor and turn in an electronic abstract at least one week preceding the talk.
      • Prepare a APS formatted abstract with the proper references. Note that one may now go to the APS website and submit an abstract to the "Test" meeting. To do this, go to the abstract submission page, click "Start Abstract Submission," select TEST meeting, and follow the instructions. If you go all the way through and submit, you can then select "view submission file" to see the LaTeX. You may then use that file to produce an abstract for the class. (Here is an example LATEX source that will build with apsab.sty)
    • Students must attend all talks; attendance will be taken.
    • Students are encouraged to ask questions and give criticisms of talks. Active participation will be part of the grade.


    • Physics content of presentation: 50%
    • Presentation quality of the talk and quality of the Abstract: 30%
    • Active participation in class discussion 20%. Do not expect grade A if you don't participate in class (i.e. if you don't ask questions during other students' talks).
    • Attendance will be taken. Unexcused absences will result in a lower grade
    • Any excuses (medical or otherwise) are to be documented and discussed with the instructors in a timely manner.

    Standard Syllabus Information:

    If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services (631) 632-6748 or http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/dss/. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

    Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/ehs/fire/disabilities/asp.

    Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at http://www.stonybrook.edu/uaa/academicjudiciary/

    Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn.

    Topics in Nuclear Physics

    The Phase-Diagram of Nuclear Matter:
    The QCD phase diagram exhibits a large number of different phases including normal nuclear matter, dense hadron matter, quark gluon plasma, color super conductors. Discuss the phase diagram and its characteristic features and their theoretical basis. Explain which parts can be addressed by which experimental techniques. (Drees, Shuryak, Hemmick, Teaney, Kharzeev)
    The Perfect Fluid Created at RHIC:
    The hot, dense matter formed at RHIC has shown surprising properties. It is extremely opaque to colored probes (quarks and gluons) traversing it. The matter thermalizes incredibly quickly and behaves like a liquid with extremely small viscosity. Screening of the color charges does not appear to be complete. Similar properties are observed in strongly coupled plasmas, and are being studied using the correspondence of string theory and quantum field theory. Discuss either the experimental evidence for strongly coupled plasma formation or theoretical studies of its properties utilizing AdS/CFT correspondence. (Zahed, Teaney, Shuryak, Kharzeev)
    Quenching of Jets and Heavy Quark Energy Loss:
    Jets of particles in the final state of a collision arise from quarks or gluons scattering with large momentum transfer. In heavy ion collisions the quarks or gluons lose a large amount of energy in the dense medium as they traverse it. Even the very heavy charm quarks experience huge energy losses, which is quite surprising. Furthermore, the deposited energy appears to create a sound wave in the medium. Discuss the results, focusing on either theoretical or experimental aspects. (Drees, Shuryak, Teaney, Kharzeev)
    J/Psi suppression, a signature for deconfinement of quarks:
    In collisions of heavy ions fewer J/psi mesons are produced than expected from summing independent nucleon-nucleon collisions. This was predicted as a signature of quark-gluon plasma formation. Briefly describe the concept of quark gluon plasma. Discuss the mechanism of suppression of the J/psi and recent data. (Drees, Hemmick, Kharzeev)
    Electromagnetic Radiation from Hot, Dense Nuclear Matter:
    Enhanced radiation of lepton pairs from the hot and dense reaction volume created in collision of nuclei was observed at CERN and now also at RHIC. The data indicate melting of the QCD vacuum and therefore the presence of a QCD phase transition. Show the experimental results and interpretations. (Drees, Hemmick, Zahed, Kharzeev)
    Statistical Mechanics of Nuclear Collisions:
    The number and spectra of particles produced in heavy ion collisions is well described by statistical emission from an equilibrated gas of hadrons. Data indicate that hadrons decouple at a temperature near 170 MeV, near the QCD phase transition between quarks and hadrons. Describe the measurements, statistical analysis and interpretation. (Shuryak, Hemmick, Kharzeev)
    Particle Interferometry:
    The space-time extent of the collision region formed in nuclear reactions can be studied by measuring the interference between two identical outgoing particles. Measurements at RHIC show a surprise: the sizes are no larger than at lower energy, even though RHIC produces more particles and more explosive collisions. Explain the technique and discuss the recent results. (Teaney, Hemmick)
    Collective Flow of Quark Gluon Plasma
    Heavy ion collisions produce high pressure and hydrodynamic flow, resulting in non-isotropic particle emission patterns. The anisotropy at RHIC is large and indicates rapid equilibration and very low viscosity followed by hydrodynamic expansion. Discuss the phenomenon and how plasma parameters are extracted from it. (Teaney, Shuryak, Hemmick, Kharzeev)
    Strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma(s)
    The AdS/CFT correspondence and applications to strongly coupled plasmas. (Teaney, Shuryak, Kharzeev)
    Color Superconductivity and QCD at High Density
    Quark matter at high density is believed to display a number of interesting phases, with quark Cooper pairs condensing like in an ordinary superconductor. Those pairs are diquarks which are already observed inside the ordinary nucleons. (Zahed, Shuryak, Kharzeev)
    Where are the quarks inside nuclei?
    Discuss scattering of leptons from nuclei and dilepton production via the Drell-Yan process to probe quark and antiquark distributions. What do we learn from such data about the quark structure functions, and what is the effect of the nuclear medium? (Deshpande, Kharzeev)
    Where is the spin of the proton?
    Results from deep inelastic scattering experiments using longitudinally polarized electrons and polarized protons indicate that the quark spin contribution to the spin of the proton is essentially zero. This result is commonly referred to as the “Spin Crisis”. The gluons contribution to the proton spin is studied with polarized protons at RHIC. Review the DIS and polarized proton experiments and results. (Deshpande, Shuryak, Kharzeev, Kiryluk)
    What is the role of anti-quarks in determining the proton spin?
    Polarized deep inelastic scattering experiments can not distinguish between quark and anti-quark spin contributions, since the interactions carriers (virtual photons, in DIS) do not carry color charge. A recent Fermilab experiment suggests that the anti-down and anti-up quarks have substantially different linear momentum distributions at high energies, indicating that the spins carried by quarks and anti-quarks probably do not cancel. Review these results and discuss how RHIC spin program at BNL plans to measure the anti-quark (ubar and dbar) spin contributions separately. (Deshpande, Shuryak, Kharzeev, Kiryluk)
    What is the transverse spin structure of the proton?
    Results from *transversely* polarized proton-proton and electron-proton scattering experiments have measured large left-right asymmetries in particle production in the final state. A comprehensive understanding of these observations is key to the three dimensional structure of the proton, including quark and gluon orbital angular momentum contribution to the proton spin. Review these experimental observations and discuss attempts to understand the transverse spin structure of the proton at Brookhaven or/and at Jefferson Laboratory. (Deshpande, Shuryak, Kharzeev, Kiryluk)
    Measurements of the Electron Neutrino Mass:
    Discuss the various experiments to measure electron neutrino masses from beta-decay endpoint measurements and double-beta decay. Give the latest results and discuss the relation of these results to the recent observations of neutrino oscillations. (Shrock, Jung)

    Topics in Elementary Particle Physics

    Discovery of the Top Quark:
    Discuss the discovery and the measurements of top quark production cross section and the top quark mass by the DØ and CDF experiments. Discuss the signatures and methods used, and the significance of the precise measurement of the top quark mass for the prediction of the Higgs boson mass. (McCarthy, Hobbs, Tsybychev)
    Discovery of the Higgs Boson:
    Discuss the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson carried out at LEP, at the upgraded TeVatron, and at the Large Hadron Collider. What are the different strategies as function of the mass and the prospects for success? (Tsybychev, Hobbs, McCarthy)
    Precision Measurement of the Z Boson Parameters:
    Measurements at the SLAC SLC collider and the CERN LEP collider of the Z boson mass, width, and production cross section. Relevance to tests of the Standard Model. (Hobbs, Rijssenbeek, Gonzalez-Garcia)
    Quantum Chromo-Dynamics:
    Discuss the gauge theory of QCD. Discuss recent results on high energy jet production in the framework of perturbative QCD calculations and experimental measurement techniques by the Atlas, CMS, DØ and CDF collaborations. (McCarthy, Sterman)
    Large Extra dimensions and Grand Unification at the Electroweak Scale:
    Discuss the recent theoretical developments in trying to obtain Grand Unification of the elementary forces in the neighborhood of the electroweak scale (1 TeV) by postulating the existence of "large" (µm to mm) extra dimensions. Review existing and ongoing experimental research in gravity at the sub-millimeter scale, and predictions for physics at the Tevatron and the large hadron collider LHC at CERN. (Van Nieuwenhuizen, Hobbs, Rijssenbeek)
    Parton Structure of the Proton:
    How do we measure the quark and gluon distributions in the proton? How do they vary with q-squared? What is the spin content of the proton? (Smith, McCarthy)
    Precision Measurement of the W Boson Mass:
    Discuss the precision measurement of the W mass at the FNAL TeVatron collider by the DØ and CDF collaborations and by the four LEP collaborations. Discuss the measurement methods and the achieved precision. Explain its importance as a test of the Standard Model, as well as the ultimate test of one's understanding of the detector.. (Rijssenbeek, McCarthy)
    Ice Fishing for Neutrinos:
    Discuss the origin of high energy extraterrestrial neutrinos and their expected fluxes. Discuss the experimental observation methods and evidence of astrophysical neutrinos observation from IceCube, one cubic kilometer detector at the South Pole in Antarctica. (Kiryluk)
    Detection of Neutrinos from Supernovae:
    Very low energy astrophysical neutrinos originated from the supernova SN1987a. Discuss the supernova neutrino production mechanism, observation of neutrinos from SN1987a, experimental observation methods and future prospects. As an alternative to discussing the detection of bursts of neutrinos from supernovas, a constant background of relic supernova neutrinos has been predicted. Discuss the characteristics of the signal and how it is detected." (Jung, McGrew)
    Neutrino Oscillation Experiments and Lepton Mixing Matrix:
    Starting with the definitive Super-Kamiokande observation of muon neutrino oscillations in the atmospheric neutrino flux, it has been well established that at least two of the standard neutrinos have masses and undergo quantum mixing. Possible topics include: some of the techniques used to observe oscillations as well as the recent results from the long baseline experiments (e.g. T2K, MINOS, NoVA, SK, SNO etc), the reactor neutrino experiments (e.g. Daya Bay, Reno, CHOOZ); and, future experiments (LBNE, Hyper-Kamiokande). Describe the normal neutrino oscillations framework as well as the current understanding of the parameter values. (Jung, McGrew, Shrock, Gonzalez-Garcia)
    Sterile neutrino searches
    There are many long standing anomalies observed in short baseline neutrino data. This has recently been reinforced by a significant discrepancy between the observed and predicted rates for detectors that are located near to nuclear reactors, but there are also anomalies observed in short baseline neutrino beam experiments. Discuss the experimental techniques that are used to observe these neutrinos (LSND, miniboone, microboone, short baseline reactor neutrino experiments), as well as the observed anomalies. (Jung, McGrew, Shrock, Gonzalez-Garcia)
    The Nature and Magnitude of the Neutrino Mass:
    The neutrino oscillation signal observed by several experiments implies that neutrinos have a small, but finite mass. Discuss the implication of neutrino mass for the standard model of particle physics and what is known about the mass from neutrino oscillation experiments, direct mass searches,and neutrinoless double beta-decay experiments. Describe the experimental techniques use in either a direct mass, or a double beta-decay search.(McGrew,Gonzalez-Garcia,Shrock)
    Ultra High Energy Cosmic Ray Events:
    Three ground based experiments: AUGER, AGASA and HiRES have claimed to observe the called "GZK cut-off" for cosmic ray events". These events are the highest known particle interaction events (~1020 eV). Explain the GZK cut-off. Give the latest results from these experiments and explore possible scenarios/explanations for these extraordinary events. Summarize the plans for new experiments. (Jung, McGrew, Gonzalez-Garcia)
    Search for Proton Decay:
    Discuss why many GUT theories require proton decay. Give an overview of the experimental situation, and present the current results and limits. (Jung, McGrew, Shrock)
    Search for Supersymmetric Particles:
    Discuss the basic concepts of supersymmetry, and search techniques. Present recent results and future prospects for the discovery of supersymmetry. (Hobbs, Jung, van Nieuwenhuizen, Shrock, Tsybychev)
    CP Violation in K Decay:
    Review the evidence for CP violation and outline the phenomenology of the K0-anti-K0 system. Discuss recent measurements of CP violation and the prospect for further progress. (McCarthy, Shrock)
    Mixing and CP Violation in the B-Bbar System:
    Description of the theoretical basis and experimental techniques, including recent results and future prospects with the Fermilab TeVatron Collider detectors and B-factories. (Hobbs, Rijssenbeek, Smith, Tsybychev)
    g-2 Experiment:
    Review the current status of the FNAL Muon g-2 experiment, physics results of the BNL g-2 experiment and their interpretation as indirect evidence for SUSY production. Why is this important? (McCarthy, Rijssenbeek, Shrock)
    String Theory:
    Review string theories and dualities. Describe M theory. (Siegel, Sterman)

    Topics in Astronomy

    High angular resolution imaging techniques in optical, infrared, and radio astronomy:
    Simulation Methods in Astrophysics:
    High-redshift Galaxies:
    The formation and early evolution of galaxies. (Lanzetta)
    Galactic Black Hole Binaries:
    X-ray observations of binary black hole systems present challenges to conventional theory. Describe the issues and possible solutions. (Brown, Lattimer)
    Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis:
    Describe the present understanding of nucleosynthesis and discuss resulting constraints on particle physics and cosmology. (Lanzetta)
    Quasar Absorption Lines:
    What do they tell us about intervening galaxies and gas. (Lanzetta)
    Type II Supernovae:
    Discuss the process of explosive star death in detail. Or, discuss the observational and theoretical understanding of how the ejecta interact with the interstellar medium, and produce what we see as supernova remnants. (Swesty, Brown, Calder)
    Neutron (Quark?) Stars:
    Discuss the structure, "birth", and evolution of neutron stars. Discuss recent measurements of the radius of an isolated nearby neutron star. (Walter, Brown, Lattimer)
    Dark Matter in Galaxies:
    Discuss the discovery of invisible ("dark") matter in our and other galaxies. Discuss its proposed distribution and form, and the various proposed types of dark matter. What are its cosmological implications? (Lanzetta)
    Microwave Background, its Fluctuations and Dark Energy:
    Discuss the discovery of the cosmic microwave background. Focus on recent measurements of the fluctuations of the microwave background. Include recent balloon experiment results. What are the cosmological implications of these results? (Lanzetta)
    Gamma-ray Bursts:
    Discuss the basic properties of gamma-ray bursts and the post-1997 developments in our understanding of these cosmic fireworks. (Brown, Lattimer)
    Extrasolar Planets:
    Discuss the techniques used to find planets around other stars, the results of searches to date, and the implications for our understanding of solar-system formation. (Simon)
    TRype Ia Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe:
    Give a critical assessment of recent evidence from supernova studies that the cosmological constant is non-zero, and discuss the implications of a non-zero cosmological constant. (Lanzetta)
    Type Ia Supernovae Explosion Models:
    Describe the theoretical picture of a Type Ia supernova explosion. Discuss the current outstanding questions. (Zingale, Calder)
    Type I X-ray Bursts:
    Explain the physics of Type I X-ray bursts, summarizing the observational properties and the theoretical model. Explain their importance in determining the properties of the underlying neutron star. (Zingale)
    Classical Novae:
    Describe classical novae and their role in the production of intermediate mass elements. Discuss the underlying theory and the problem of envelope enrichment. (Zingale, Calder, Walter)
    Star and Planet Formation:
    Describe what we know about the process, including the role of the interstellar medium and the nature of circumstellar disks. (Metchev, Walter, Simon)
    Solar flares:
    What new light do the recent TRACE images/movies throw on the interaction between magnetic fields and the plasma in the solar atmosphere? (Walter)
    Accretion Processes from an Observations Point of View
    Mass transfer in cataclysmic variables and X-ray binaries. Includes classical novae and X-ray bursters. Also accretion in pre-main sequence stars. Active and passive disks. (Walter)
    Brown Dwarfs
    What they are and how they form. Describe their atmospheric characteristics. (Metchev, Walter, Simon)
    Magnetic Processes in Stellar Atmospheres
    Stellar chromospheres and coronae. Magnetic activity (could subsume the stellar flares topic). Magnetic dynamos. Evolution of magnetic activity. (Walter)
    Is Pluto a planet?
    Pluto was recently declared a "dwarf planet." Why is this important? Kuiper Belt objects and observations thereof. (Simon)
    Gravitational Radiation
    Discuss the concept of gravitational radiation, the astrophysical sources of gravitational radiation and/or the physics and design of gravitational wave detectors, including methods of extracting super-weak signals (Lattimer, Swesty, Calder)

    Topics in Accelerator Physics

    Free Electro Lasers:
    Describe basic principles of Free Electron Lasers (FELs), types of FELs, examples of their implementation and application. (Belomestnykh)
    Photoemission electron guns for accelerators:
    What are the photoemission electron guns, their advantages?and disadvantages? Explain photoemission and describe types of high quantum efficiency photocathodes used in contemporary electron guns. Compare different gun types and their applications. (Belomestnykh)
    Methods of particle beam cooling:
    What are main methods to increase the phase-space density of circulating beams in storage rings? Explain physics and give examples. (Belomestnykh)
    Application of RF superconductivity to accelerators:
    Explain superconductivity and main loss mechanism when AC field is applied to superconductors. What are advantages and disadvantages of using Superconducting RF (SRF) structures in accelerators? Give examples of SRF accelerators. (Belomestnykh)

    For more topics, see instructor.


    Name Room Telephone
    Sergey Belomestnykh BNL, Bldg.911B 344-8448
    Alan Calder ESS 2-1176
    Abhay Deshpande Physics C101 2-8109
    Axel Drees Physics C105 2-8114
    Rod Engelmann Physics D106 2-8087
    Concha Gonzalez-Garcia Math Tower 6-115A 2-7971
    Fred Goldhaber ITP, MT6-113 2-7975
    Paul Grannis Physics D142 2-8088
    Tom Hemmick Physics C107 2-8111
    John Hobbs Physics D140 2-8107
    Chang Kee Jung Physics D141 2-8108
    Dmitri Kharzeev Physics C142A 2-8118/344-7231
    Joanna Kiryluk Physics C109 2-7734
    Ken Lanzetta ESS 456 2-8222
    James Lattimer ESS 455 2-8227
    Robert McCarthy Physics D-104 2-8086
    Clark McGrew Physics D134 2-8299
    Stanimir Metchev ESS-452 2-1302
    Deane Peterson ESS 454 2-8223
    Michael Rijssenbeek Physics D134 2-8099
    Martin Rocek ITP MT6-116A 2-7965
    Mike Simon ESS-453 2-8226
    Robert Shrock ITP D146 2-7986
    Jack Smith ITP MT6-111 2-7973
    Gene Sprouse Physics C109 2-8118
    Edward Shuryak Physics C-139 2-8127
    George Sterman ITP MT6-115A 2-7967
    Doug Swesty ESS 463 2-8055
    Derek Teaney Physics C-135 2-4489
    Dmitri Tsybychev Physics D-140 2-8106
    Peter van Nieuwenhuizen ITP MT6-110 2-7972
    Fred Walter ESS 459 2-8232
    Ismail Zahed Physics C-141 2-8129
    Michael Zingale ESS 440 2-8225

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