Faculty Sponsor

Shirvel Stanislaus, Adam Gibson-Even, David Grosnick, and Donald Koetke

Streaming Media


Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-24-2020


The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) sited at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, New York, is the only collider in the world capable of colliding beams of polarized protons. The Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC (STAR) detector analyzes properties of these collisions to investigate, among other things, the gluon’s spin contribution to the spin of the proton. The gluon contribution can be theoretically calculated from an experimentally measured asymmetry in the number of π0’s (a particle produced in the collisions) produced as a function of the protons’ spin configuration. STAR’s Endcap Electromagnetic Calorimeter (EEMC) can reconstruct a π0 , which decays in 10-16 s, by measuring the energy of its two decay photons. This summer, we performed Quality Assurance (QA) on the 2012 p+p data, made asymmetry calculations by fitting mass plots to a couple of different functions, helped prepare a forward upgrade at STAR, and processed some data from 2013. The QA involved plotting several characteristics of the π0 reconstruction process as a function of run number, which are segments of data. This summer 9,600 scintillators were polished and painted to be sent to Brookhaven for the update of the Forward Calorimeter System (FCS).

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Claire Kovarik: Junior chemistry and physics major. Second year on the STAR collaboration. Also a cross country athlete on campus.

J.D. Snaidauf: Senior Physics and Education major. Third year on the VUSTAR collaboration and is a member of MSEED.

WIlliam Bakke: Sophomore physics and math double major with a political science minor. Intends to work for the CIA.

Anand Agrawal: Sophomore physics major and first year on the VUSTAR project. Originally from Nepal.

Michael Bukowski: Sophomore electrical engineering major, who's also a first year VUSTAR student.