Daniel M. Kaplan , Ph.D.Professor of Physics
Director, IIT Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics
Office: 146D Life Sciences Building
- B.A. Haverford College
- Ph.D. SUNY at Stony Brook
Research & Major Accomplishments
Why study particle physics? Click here for my personal answer.
We know that matter is made of quarks and leptons. So far, 6 types of quark and 6 types of lepton have been discovered. I've been working on properties of the strange, charm, and beauty quarks. We study them in experiments at the nearby Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located 40 miles west of IIT. Here are some highlights of my research:
- My Ph.D. thesis research (carried out by a group led by Prof. Leon Lederman) featured the discovery of the beauty quark, as described in the non-technical article "How We Found the b Quark."
- I led the IIT High Energy Physics group's efforts on the HyperCP experiment (E- 871) at Fermilab.
- To enhance the contribution of Illinois universities to the development of future accelerator technologies, with IIT's Prof. Tim Morrison I organized the Illinois Consortium for Accelerator Research (ICAR), including physicists from IIT, the University of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois. Starting in the year 2000, we managed to obtain four years of funding for ICAR from the State of Illinois. With Profs. Morrison and Chris White, I led the consortium, which made important contributions to muon collider and stored-muon-beam neutrino-factory research and development as well as other important accelerator topics.
- I'm leading the consortium of US collaborators on the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE). The goal of MICE is to demonstrate the feasibility of "cooling" a muon beam (compressing the beam to fit better within the aperture of an accelerator). This is a key step on the road to a future Neutrino Factory, the best technique yet devised for studying neutrino oscillations. In the longer term it may lead to a Muon Collider.
- Along with Prof. Howie Rubin, I'm participating in the Double Chooz reactor-neutrino experiment, which aims to improve on the Chooz experiment, to date the world's best search for direct transitions between electron neutrinos and tau neutrinos.
- I'm leading the nascent Fermilab Antiproton Collaboration in developing a program of renewed experimentation at the Fermilab Antiproton Source—the world's most intense source of antimatter!
Both the HyperCP experiment and the antiproton project seek to shed new light on the mysterious phenomenon known as CP violation—the only effect known that distinguishes matter from antimatter, and possibly the reason the Universe is made of matter rather than antimatter or pure energy. The E-871 Proposal (450 kB PostScript file with an additional 23 MB in PostScript figures) details this ambitious experiment undertaken by a collaboration of physicists from around the world. The HyperCP experiment is probing for evidence of CP violation in the decay of hyperons. So far this important effect has been observed only in the decay of the neutral K and B mesons, but current theoretical models predict that it should also be seen in other systems, including decays of hyperons and particles containing charm quarks.
At IIT I've taught all three semesters of General Physics, the Electronic Instrumentation Laboratory, and the junior-level course Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, which is a 1-semester survey of 20th-century physics including Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Atomic, Solid-State, Nuclear, and Particle physics. (Probably many people don't realize just how much of the technology we take for granted is based on Modern Physics—lasers, transistors and integrated circuits, nuclear medicine, x-rays, and on and on.) I like to use demonstration experiments in my teaching—they help make my lectures more lively and memorable and (I hope) focus the student's attention on the essence of the physics rather than the mathematical details.
On the non-professional side, I'm also an avid cellist and chamber musician.
- "A New Experiment to Study Hyperon CP Violation and the Charmonium System," D. M. Kaplan, Proceedings of the CTP Symposium on Supersymmetry at LHC, Int. J. Mod. Phys. A22, 5958 (2008).
- "Double Chooz: A Search for the neutrino mixing angle θ13," in Proceedings of CIPANP 2006: 9th Conference on the Intersections of Particle and Nuclear Physics, AIP Conf. Proc. 870, 551 (2006).
- "Measurement of the Asymmetry in the Decay anti-Ω+ → anti-Λ K+ → anti-p π+ K+," L. C. Lu et al., Physical Review Letters, vol. 96, p. 242001 (2006).
- "Recent Innovations in Muon Beam Cooling," R. P. Johnson et al., Proceedings of the International Workshop on Beam Cooling and Related Topics (COOL05), AIP Conf. Proc., 821, 405 (2006).
- "Remarks on Muon g-2 Experiments and Possible CP Violation in π → μ → e Decay," D. M. Kaplan, Physical Review D, vol. 821, p. 405 (1998).