ILC NewsLine
Future Generation of Physicists at U. Colorado Helps with ILC
Univeristy of Colorado Students
(Clockwise from left) Jack Gill (in black shirt, facing camera), a sophomore, is working on obtaining the best direction for the photon cluster. Joseph Proulx, Research Assistant who supervises the students, is working on separating the clusters. Paul Steinbrecher (not facing the camera), a junior, is working on Beam-Cal discrimination for 2 photon events in the case of 20 mrad and 14 mrad beam crossings. Jason Gray (sitting down), a graduate student, is propagating the charged tracks through the calorimeters so that the hits can be removed when analyzing the photon showers. Matthew Phillips (standing) is writing his senior thesis on Chi-Square fits for photon showers to discriminate with single and double photon showers. He works with freshman Sarah Moll (not shown).

With the projected timescale for the International Linear Collider, the majority of scientists and engineers who are currently working on the proposed project will be well into retirement by the time the first collisions occur. Uriel Nauenberg, a particle physicist at the University of Colorado, is doing his part to ensure that the field of particle physics will have a future generation to carry on the projects and experiments that are under development now.

Ranging from freshmen to second-year graduate students, Nauenberg has a group of seven students and one research assistant working on calorimetry research for the ILC. Never a dull moment in his bustling lab, the majority of his students develop software code using JAVA and C++ to reconstruct particle events. Gaining some real world experience in the field, a number of his students attended the Snowmass Workshop this past summer and even presented their research during the calorimetry sessions. More recently in January, his students participated in the American Linear Collider Physics Group Detector Simulation Workshop.

While some students are already familiar with JAVA and C++ when they start working with Nauenberg, a number of them have learned how to program after spending only a few months in the lab. Sarah Moll, a freshman who started working with Nauenberg before she started college, is one of these cases. "I learned all of the computer programming here," she said. "I picked it up over the course of the semester and really find it interesting. A lot of the physics is beyond me at this point, but working in the lab keeps me interested. I definitely enjoy the research and high-energy physics is what I want to be doing."

Several of Nauenberg's students became interested in working on ILC related projects after taking one of his courses. "I'm now taking my fourth course from Uriel," said Matthew Phillips, a senior who plans to pursue physics as a career and just applied to graduate school. "There is a real connection between what I learned in my physics courses and the research I am doing in the lab. It is very rewarding to know that I'm contributing to this large project containing thousands of people."

Nauenberg certainly appreciates all of the hard work that his students contribute to the project, but his real satisfaction stems from contributing to the future of particle physics. When it comes to future plans, almost every one of his students would like to pursue a career in physics. "I'm a pretty lucky guy," he said. "If it weren't for my students, I wouldn't get anything done. They do very good work, and they get all of the credit. It is wonderful to see so many young people excited about this field."

-- Elizabeth Clements