Professor Gary Varner receives 2010 U.S. Department of Energy award
More national recognition for his "oscilloscope on a chip"University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Aug 18, 2010
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa associate professor of physics Gary S. Varner has received a highly competitive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Detector Research Award for the third time in five years.
One of only 5 recipients nationwide, Varner's $95,000 award is for the further 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 provided jointly by the UH Vice President for Research and the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. The award was announced on the DOE Science website: http://www.er.doe.gov/hep/hep_ADR/2010ADRWinners.shtml
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-second level (10^-12 sec), a small fraction of the time it takes light to travel an inch. This award will provide funds to further evaluate his new approach in a cosmic ray test facility.
B Factories are high energy particle accelerators that produce particles containing particles containing b (beauty) quarks in large numbers, close to 1 billion/year. Varner along with other University of Hawaiʻi faculty members, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students will participate in the Belle experiment at the KEK B Factory in Tsukuba, Japan. The Belle experiment is most celebrated for its critical role in experimentally verifying the theoretical scheme of Kobayashi and Maskawa, who were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.
A new facility under construction in Tsukuba, Japan, 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. Varner's oscilloscope on a chip will play an important role in several subsystems at the new Belle-II detector. Operation of the Belle-II detector at the KEK Super B Factory is expected to begin around 2014.
For more information, visit: http://www.er.doe.gov/hep/hep_ADR/2010ADRWinners.shtml