Data Analysis Center receives $1.92M DOE Grant

December 14, 2011

The GWU Institute for Nuclear Studies (INS) Data Analysis Center (DAC) has been awarded a three-year renewal grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics. The award covers three-years at the level of $1.92 million, almost double the previous three-year grant amount. INS Director William J. Briscoe of the Physics Department and Principal Investigator on the DAC renewal grant, who has lead the DAC since 1998 said, “High levels of quality and productivity by our senior research faculty made this award possible. The renewal places the DAC as the highest single-PI grant in Office of Nuclear Physics’ Medium Energy program. That the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics clearly prioritizes the DAC research program in its funding portfolio at this time of budgetary pressures is encouraging.” The DAC research both leads and supports experimental programs around the world, particularly at facilities such as the Jefferson Laboratory continuous electron beam accelerator, which studies the ultra-short-distance properties of the atomic nucleus.

The grant award supports the DAC program in nucleon resonance phenomena, which resides on the border of high energy and nuclear physics. Much is understood about neutrons and protons, together called ‘nucleons’, which make up most of the visible matter of the universe.  But a description of nucleons in terms of their constituents — quarks and gluons — remains incomplete. Using advanced techniques of experimental, theoretical, and phenomenological high energy and nuclear physics the DAC researchers have made significant progress in understanding the phenomenon of nucleon resonance. Resonance is the well known effect of stimulating higher harmonic frequencies. Since quantum physics dictates that nucleons are wave-like, their harmonic frequencies may be similarly stimulated. “The excitation of the harmonic frequencies of the proton gives us a wealth of information about the its structure and its reaction properties,” according to Assc. Research Professor of Physics and DAC member Ron Workman.

“What you have achieved in your most recent DOE refunding is truly an achievement in this era of research spending cutbacks,” said Associate Dean for Research Geralyn Schulz. The DAC hopes to hire a tenure-track faculty member in the near future and add several students and postdoctoral researchers to its roster. “A renaissance in nuclear reaction theory, ushered in by a new generation of operating and planned precision experiments, is underway. The high status of DAC research in the field places GWU at the center of precision nuclear physics,” commented Mark Paris, DAC Theory Program member. “The DAC is growing and the DOE thinks we’re in the right place at the right time. We hope our ongoing research program will continue to attract strong students, postdocs and faculty to the study of this rich and challenging area of nuclear physics.”

DAC Members:
William J. Briscoe, Director
Helmut Haberzettl
Mark Paris
Igor Strakovsky
Ron Workman