Brookhaven Lecture

"445th Brookhaven Lecture: 'Do Gluons Carry Proton Spin? - Toward Resolving the Spin Crisis'"

Presented by Alexander Bazilevsky, Physics Department

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium

Just as Earth and other planets spin within the solar system, subatomic quark and gluon particles spin within the protons and neutrons that spin within the nucleus of an atom. Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is a theory that describes interactions between subatomic particles and it has played a defining role in understanding the spin of protons and neutrons, which make up most of the visible mass in the universe. <p> Experiments first completed at CERN and furthered at several other laboratories around the world revealed that surprisingly, quarks and their partnering anti-quarks are responsible for only 20 to 30 percent of proton spin. These findings pointed to what would become known as "spin crisis." More recent experiments at BNL's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the first collider to smash protons that are "polarized," or made to spin in the same orientation, have helped to isolate the role of the gluon's spin within the spinning proton in hopes of resolving this crisis. <p> In his lecture, Bazilevsky will explain how data from RHIC's PHENIX and STAR detectors help to reveal the role of gluons in the proton's spin. Bazilevsky will also discuss long- and short-term plans to attain a deeper look into the proton spin structure, utilizing RHIC and its future upgrades.

Hosted by: Brant Johnson & Stephen Musolino

More Information

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