ANDREW BRANDT's Home Page


Contact Information


Teaching and Research

I am a Physics Professor at the University of Texas, Arlington .

I have two main roles as professor: I teach undergraduate and graduate physics classes at UTA, and I do research in the sub-field of particle physics aka high energy physics (HEP). These two areas are strongly connected by undergraduate students (>30 over past 10 years) and graduate students who do research in particle physics under my supervision. This semester, Fall 2014, I am teaching Physics 3313: Modern Physics . My research has focussed on aspects of QCD and Higgs studies. My most recent graduate student Ian Howley got his PhD in summer 2013 in under 5 years, working on Higgs searches via tau decay in the DZero Experiment. My post-doc Justin Griffiths, is involved in many aspects of Higgs studies, including a charged Higgs search, Higgs to WW* properties (with Prof. Jaehoon Yu),and VBF Higgs triggering using tagging jets, building on new triggers that we established in the last run. My previous post-doc Edward Sarkisyan-Grinbaum, is working on multiplicity distributions, which describe fundamental aspects of the LHC collisions. My former student Arnab Pal, combined the two areas with his work on diffractive Higgs production and received his Ph.D. in 2012 on a measurement of Single Diffraction on the DZero Experiment at Fermilab. Previous graduate students include Pedro Duarte who received his Master's Degree in July 2007, and went to Rice for his Ph. D.; and Dr. Michael Strang graduated in August 2005.


HIGGS-like Particle Discovered!


UTA Spin on Higgs Discovery


Brandt KERA interview



Outreach

I frequently meet with prospective students and give tours of the HEP area in CPB. In 2010, I did some studies for the Texas Rangers on a Josh Hamilton Home Run. There was a fair bit of media attention: here is a UTA summary and here is a local TV video.

Collaborations and Research Topics

My field of research is High Energy Physics. I have been a member of the D0 Experiment at Fermilab in Batavia, IL since 1992. My primary research focus is now the ATLAS Collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, and I had a Faculty Development Leave there in 2008.

Fast Timing and ATLAS

Aside from Higgs (described above), my primary research focus over the past several years has been the development of a fast time-of-flight counter for background rejection for LHC proton detectors, for example, the proposed ATLAS Forward Proton detector. The project began as FP420 an R&D effort, studying the feasibility of adding far forward Roman pots to ATLAS and CMS, to aid in discovery physics, such as the Higgs boson. In Fall 2008 a sub-group of FP420 proposed AFP to ATLAS management in a Letter of Intent; in Fall 2009 our proposal received a favorable review, and we submitted a Technical Proposal in May 2011, which was successfully reviewed. In September 2011 the timing system I have been leading the development of, a quartz Cherenkhov detector coupled to a micro-channel plate PMT, was declared an official ATLAS R&D project, and AFP was included in the official ATLAS Phase 1 LOI , which was endorsed by ATLAS in early 2012. In fall 2012 we acheived 11 ps using a six-bar system in test beam, while concurrently helping to develop and test special long life MCP-PMTs needed for the project. In 2013, the AFP was briefly in ATLAS upgrade funding plans, but was removed due to its lack of priority in world ATLAS. In 2014, the project ws re-approved in a more limited fashion by world ATLAS, but U.S. ATLAS decided not to participate in this project. The timing R&D continues at a reduced level, as the generic fast timing components are useful for many purposes besides AFP. We acheived our initial goal to build a small timing counter with \~10 picosecond resolution! Light travels only 3 mm in 10 psec. I am Spokesman of a Fermilab test-beam experiment (T958) to develop and test the fast timing detector, and recently (Aug 20-Sep.3 2014) concluded a test beam run featuring a new compact detector designed to fit in a Roman pot (type of retractable accelerator interface. I received a Texas ARP grant and a DOE Advanced Detector Research Grant to support this research. I am supervising several undergraduate students in the Picosecond Test Facility (aka the Laser Lab). Here is a picture from our September 2006 test beam run:


I hosted a workshop on fast timing in April 2006: (see web page). I also hosted an FP420 collaboration meeting in March 2007

Trigger

During my sabbatical in 2008 I became involved in the trigger effort, which seeks to choose the most interesting 300 events out of the millions of collisions each second. For more than two years I led the Trigger Rates group, charged with measuring and evaluating the trigger rates for various trigger menus, as the luminosity increased by more than 5 orders of magnitude
My post-doc Edward Sarkisyan-Grinbaum led multiplicity and correlations studies with early ATLAS data. After a hiatus, I have been involved in triggering on a special Higgs topology called Vector Boson Fusion (VBF) and I proposed and developed with Justin, a series of improved triggers in this area. We are continuing this work in Run 2, which is scheduled to begin ~spring 2015).

Homeland Security/SAVANT Center

I also have been working on an NSF/Homeland Security Grant with UTA Professor Wei Chen to develop a nanoparticle-based scintillation detector for Homeland Security. We also received a second LARGER grant in this area. This foray into homeland security was expanded into the SAVANT CENTER , of which I am deputy director.

Older Research

DZero

One of my physics interests is Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), especially hard diffraction and rapidity gaps, and I have had several responsibilities in D0 related to these topics:

Co-Leader Forward Proton Detector

I initiated the proposal to add a Forward Proton Detector to D0 for Run II of the Tevatron starting in March 2001 and led the FPD group until it was decommissioned in 2006. The FPD page has all the details. If you are unable to access our web page, you can get some of the information here. The final Roman pot castle design is shown here, along with a picture of Alberto and me (right) looking proudly at the first Roman pot castle at Fermilab.

The FPD was integrated into the DZero readout, with the aid of an NSF MRI grant and a Texas ARP grant. For an overview talk on FPD and diffractive physics, see my Nov. 5, 2003 UTA Colloquium Part I and Part II. Please contact me for further details.

Run I Rapidity Gap Convener

I founded the rapidity gap group Run I at DZero, and we published three papers based on the thesis work of (Brent May, Tracy Taylor Thomas, and Jill Perkins) on rapidity gaps between jets: I also wrote papers on Run I results on diffractive dijets with Kristal Mauritz, and diffractive W/Z with Linda Coney:

I spent many years on the trigger board, which decides which data to write to tape. Previously, I was co-convener of the QCD group and Run I physics analysis group. We brought several QCD analyses to publication. Here is a full list of D0 Publications.

I also convened and chaired the inaugural Run II Trigger Panel which constructed the first Run II trigger list and was a convener of the Diffractive and Color Coherence Working Group at the QCD Run II workshop. I have helped organize major international conferences in Brazil (co-chair of LISHEP 2002.) and at Fermilab (organizing committee for Small-x 2003)




Andrew Brandt