UH Manoa Professor Gary Varner receives Department of Energy Advanced Detector Research AwardUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
University of Hawaii at Manoa Assistant Professor of Physics Gary S. Varner has received a highly competitive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Detector Research Award for the second time. One of only 3 recipients nationwide, Varner's $70,000 award is for the development of a new type of readout for novel particle identification detectors at the KEK Super B Factory particle accelerator. This support is the result of initial seed funding providedjointly by the UH Vice President for Research and the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.Varner has developed an innovative "oscilloscope on a chip" that provides the ability to do high precision timing, which is necessary to determine whether particles produced at the Super B Factory contain a heavier "strange" quark. Measuring this "flavor" is essential to the search for physics beyond the current Standard Model of particle physics.His electronics can measure time intervals at the pico-secondlevel (10^-12 sec), a small fraction of the time it takes light to travel an inch. This award will provide funds to test and implement his new approach.
B Factories are high energy particle accelerators that produce particlescontaining particles containing b (beauty) quarks in large numbers, closeto 1 billion/year. Varner along with other University of Hawaii facultymembers, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students participatesin the Belle experiment at the KEK B Factory in Tsukuba, Japan.The Belle experiment is most celebrated for its critical role inexperimentally verifying the theoretical scheme of Kobayashi andMaskawa, who were just awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The KEK Super B Factory will produce hundreds of times more b-quarks than the existing facility at KEK and this requires significant improvements in the capabilities of the devices used to detect them. Super B Factories are currently being planned at the particle physics laboratories in Tsukuba, Japan and in Frascati, Italy. Operation at the KEK Super B Factory is expected to begin around 2012. The award was announced on the DOE Science Web site:
For more information, visit: http://www.er.doe.gov/hep/hep_ADR/2008ADRWinners.shtml