The Muon G-2 Experiment

Muon-10-ringLeading the nation in advanced particle physics research, it is only natural that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will be conducting the Muon g-2 Experiment as their next major undertaking. Before delving into my proposed involvement of such a world-class venture, I believe that it would be best to share a bit of my knowledge regarding the details of the experiment itself.
Picking up were Brookhaven Laboratory left off, the goal of the g-2 experiment is to re-measure the g-factor (gyromagnetic factor or spin) of a muon (subatomic particle similar to an electron but much heavier), except to a greater level of precision. The reason for this is that the previous results from the Brookhaven investigation revealed that the experimental value of the muon’s g-factor differed from the theoretical value by 3σ (standard deviations). Such an outcome caused a great deal of excitement among the physics community as it proposed that the fluctuations in the muon’s spin could be caused by other, yet to be discovered, subatomic particles. If all goes to plan, Fermilab’s efforts will either debunk the previous findings as an erroneous anomaly, or will provide the 5σ necessary to confirm a scientific discovery, thus opening a myriad of questions regarding our understanding of the esoteric universe that surrounds us.
My Summer Scholars Capstone would contribute to the Muon g-2 Experiment by having me independently create and analyze a straw-tube test module that would serve as the primary design for the detector used at Fermilab. Preoccupying myself in the construction stage, I would work with materials provided by Fermilab to optimize several components of the detector. The first aspect would require me to familiarize myself with a single straw-tube (gas filled mylar tube with a sensitive filament inside) and carefully inspect its components. After studying the construction of a single detector tube, I would then proceed to designing a mass production assembly line that would provide the tubes for the g-2 experiment. Upon the completion of this task, that could take anywhere from three to four weeks, I would then continue on to building a scale model of the detector and run several tests focusing on the optimization of data collection. This part of the experiment would preoccupy the majority of my time as testing various straw-tube layouts, working with advanced computer simulation programs, analyzing gathered data, speaking at public events concerning the Muon g-2 event, as well as attending informational seminars at Fermilab will provide with an excellent opportunity to immerse myself in the high energy particle physics scene taking place at NIU, Fermilab, and the worldwide physics community.

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