PHYS1:  Nuclear Physics

Mentors: Brendan Pratt and Fridah Mokaya, PhD students in the lab of Professor Dr. Richard T. Jones

One of the biggest discoveries in physics over the last 30 years has been that the protons and neutrons that make up the atomic nucleus are not just featureless blobs, but are, in fact, made out of smaller particles called quarks. Normally, quarks are invisible and hidden away inside the nucleus, but they can be glimpsed with the aid of beams of high-energy particles. The Nobel prize in physics was awarded in 2004 to three American physicists for their theory of a force that they called “nuclear glue” which holds the quarks together inside neutrons and protons. Experimenters at this site are working on developing an intense beam of polarized light that will be used to excite the glue and measure its properties. Do you like physics? If so, this is an ideal site for anyone interested in participating on a team that is engaged in cutting-edge research in the field of quark physics.