Two professors from Purdue University Northwest secured more than $500,000 in grants to further their research in particle physics.
Neeti Parashar, professor of physics, and Jim Dolen, assistant professor of physics, were awarded a multiyear grant estimated at $526,000 by the National Science Foundation to work on the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.
PNW is the only undergraduate physics department in the country to be a full contributing member for these experiments at both CERN and Fermilab, the university said. Parashar and Dolen have worked for years to build a pixel detector, which allows the charged particles arising out of the proton-proton collision to be tracked, captured and analyzed.
The grant will go toward the PNW High Energy Physics program’s research into the fundamental particles that make up all matter as part of the program’s collaboration with Fermilab and CERN. This grant also enables PNW students to train at the facilities.
“This is likely the largest grant ever received by the PNW College of Engineering and Sciences, and a tremendous opportunity for Purdue Northwest students and faculty to be a part of exploring the frontiers of physics,” said Chris Holford, dean of the college of engineering and sciences.
The research will explore the smallest building blocks of matter, the properties of those particles, and the fundamental forces that help bind these particles together.