Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium
<p>At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven Lab, nuclei of gold atoms are collided with enough force to recreate on a tiny scale the hot, dense conditions that existed about one-hundredth of a second after the Big Bang. By packing so much energy into a small area, these collisions allow physicists to study fundamental constituents of matter — quarks and gluons — in a state of matter that last existed some 14 billion years ago.</p> <p>RHIC's current collision rate — its luminosity — is thousands of collisions per second. But RHIC physicists want more because the more collisions, the more data they can take and the more analysis they can do toward understanding the forces causing these subatomic particles to interact and coalesce to form the universe as it is today.</p> <p>One approach to achieving higher collision rates is called stochastic cooling, which is an accelerator beam-feedback technique to keep an accelerator's particle beam size as small as possible. Although this approach has been used in specialized, low-energy accelerators, it has never been made to work at high energy of with tightly bunched beams such as RHIC's — until now.</p> <p>After defining stochastic cooling concepts and techniques, the lecturer will describe how the stochastic cooling system that began operating at RHIC last year has significantly reduced the energy spread of beams. And he will talk about plans to build upon this success by installing another system by next fall.</p> <p>Mike Blaskiewicz earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Connecticut in 1983 and his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 1990. He joined BNL's Collider-Accelerator Department in 1991, where he works on stochastic cooling, radio-frequency systems, coherent instabilities, and electron-cloud effects.</p> <p>To
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