Homer A Neal



B.S. degree in Physics, with honors, in 1961 from Indiana University; M.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan

Ph.D. Physics (1966) University of Michigan
Research Field: Elementary Particle Experiment; Research Focus: ATLAS detector development at CERN's new Large Hadron
Samuel A. Goudsmit Professor of Physics; Director, ATLAS Project at University of Michigan

Dr. Neal has received the 2003 Bouchet Award.

    "As a pre-teenager growing up in a very small town in Southern Kentucky I witnessed the excitement and liberation associated with the hobby of amateur radio. No matter what constraints were placed upon me by the conditions of my environment, the world was literally open to me through the wonders of world-wide wireless communication using inexpensive equipment I had built myself. This was undoubtedly the key to my lifelong interest in science.

    Later in life, as a high energy physicist, I have been privileged to be involved in one way or another with almost every presently operating high energy particle accelerator in the world, as well as with several which either completed their lifetime of service and are decommissioned or which never had the chance to operate, such as the Superconducting Super Collider, on whose Board of Overseers I served during the final six years of its embryonic life. As a scientist, and not just a physicist, my interests have taken me to the launch of the first Space Shuttle as the representative of the National Science Board, a tour of the submersible Alvin while it was at its home port in Woods Hole, exploration of the mammoth radio telescope at Arecibo, evaluating the famed vessel Glomar Challenger for possible purchase by the NSF for deep sea drilling research, exploring long term studies on Barro Colorado Island in the Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute's Panama facilities, and the dedication of a telescope on Mount Hopkins on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution on whose Board of Regents I serve."

    Homer A. Neal is Director of the UM-ATLAS Collaboratory Project, the Samuel A. Goudsmit Professor of Physics, Interim President Emeritus, and Vice President Emeritus for Research at the University of Michigan. In 2000, he joined the Applications Strategy Council (ASC), an advisory committee to the board of trustees of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development. From 1987 to 1993 he was Chair of the University of Michigan Physics Department. Before returning to Michigan (he received his PhD from UM in 1966), he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1981-86) and Dean for Research and Graduate Development at Indiana University (1976-81).Dr. Neal's research area is experimental high energy physics and he is currently conducting his research at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, where his research group is part of the ATLAS Experiment. Neal also participates in the DZERO collaboration that in 1995 announced the discovery of the top quark. Within the early phase of DZERO the Michigan group had particular responsibility for designing, implementing, and analyzing data from the Intercryostat Detector that was built by the team at University of Michigan. His technical research expertise includes the design of particle detectors, particle event reconstruction and analysis, large-scale database management and particle physics phenomenology. He has led many experiments that have elucidated the nature of spin effects in high energy particle interactions, including proton-proton elastic scattering, electron-positron scattering and in various inclusive hadronic reactions. In the ATLAS experiment Neal is involved in developing the computing infrastructure required to carry out the planned physics analysis. This includes work on high speed networking between CERN and the US, quality of service protocols, and the development of collaborative tools. He is also involved with the Michigan effort to construct muon chambers for the ATLAS forward muon spectrometer. In the DZERO experiment he is involved with the development of the database for the calibration of various subsystem detectors. This work will permit the event reconstruction programs to have direct access to the relevant phased calibration data recorded in the experiment.Neal is also engaged in an ongoing study of spin effects in high energy collisions. Recent papers in Physics Letters on which he has served as lead author claim success in explaining the exceptionally large polarization and spin correlation effects observed in high energy p-p elastic scattering. This work is based on a quark-quark scattering model developed by Neal and Holger Nielsen at the Niels Bohr Institute. This work continues, with the current focus being the exploration of spin effects in inclusive lambda production in the hundred GeV range.

    Professor Neal directs his current research toward high energy pp collisions in the DZERO experiment at Fermilab. This experiment, one of two to have discovered the top quark, is a long term exploration of a broad range of frontier high energy physics topics, including the search for new quarks, the determination of the quark structure functions, and the measurement of various other fundamental parameters of the strong interaction. The DZERO detector is built around a highly segmented, massive liquid argonuranium calorimeter. The Michigan group has had a special responsibility for the design, construction and implementation of the compact scintillator tile intercryostat detector which employs an advanced fiber optics readout system developed by the group to improve the experiment's capability to determine jet energies over the full kinematic region. This device is now in operation and has achieved all of its design goals. Michigan's DZERO participants are pursuing several physics analyses associated with the top quark, including leading the topmultijets analysis, playing a major role in the toplepton + jets analysis, and studies designed to confirm the top quark mass. In coming years the group will focus on the design and implementation of the central pre-shower detector, which will be a major component of a new, upgraded DZERO detector capable of running at a significantly higher luminosity.


references: [http://www.physics.lsa.umich.edu/department/directory/bio.asp?ID=245], [http://www-personal.umich.edu/~haneal/hanealbio.html], [http://felix.physics.sunysb.edu/PAhist/hneal.html], [http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/MT/96/Mar96/mta03m96.html], [http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/2000/Jun00/r060500a.html]

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