Watch: Time-Lapsed Installation of Massive Superconducting MagnetAn exciting milestone for Baruch professor’s work exploring the early universe
October 28, 2021
Stefan Bathe, PhD and professor in the Weissman School’s Natural Sciences Department, is celebrating a milestone in his research group’s work at Brookhaven National Laboratory: the installation of a massive superconducting magnet. The magnet is a key piece of sPHENIX, a detector that will begin collecting data in 2023 to help scientists understand matter as it may have existed in the early universe.
The sPHENIX experiment is an international collaboration of 500 scientists studying a new phase of matter that only emerges at extremely high temperature and density. The team at Brookhaven creates these conditions using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) – a type of particle accelerator and the only operating collider in the United States.
The sPHENIX detector will track particles streaming from RHIC collisions with what Brookhaven described as “unprecedented precision.” Bathe has been leading the assembly, testing, and calibration of a hadronic calorimeter, which measures particle energy. The time-lapsed video of the magnet’s installation above shows the scale of the project.
Now that the magnet is in place, “we are working on the next layer of calorimeter detectors, to be installed inside the magnet early next year,” Bathe said. “Once the installation of this equipment is complete, we’ll be able to more carefully examine the particle soup that remains floating out there in the universe from the Big Bang.”
About Professor Stefan Bathe
Stefan Bathe received his PhD in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Muenster, Germany, in 2002. He was a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of California, Riverside, from 2003-2007. In 2008, he became a Scientific Staff Fellow of the RIKEN-BNL-Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). In 2010, he joined the faculty of Baruch College as an Associate Professor in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Bathe’s research interest is in experimental high-energy nuclear physics. He is a member of the PHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at BNL, an international collaboration of 500 scientists. Bathe has worked on the measurement of neutral pions with electromagnetic calorimeters, which in 2001 led to the discovery of jet quenching in heavy ion collisions.
Bathe has taken a leading role in the sPHENIX experiment, having served as Physics Working Group Convener, Run Coordinator, Analysis Coordinator, and on the Executive Council and Institutional Board. His research is sponsored by a grant from the Department of Energy.
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