Cecilia Gerber leads pixel detector project

Sep 09, 2013
Professor Cecilia Gerber is a manager on the project for a brand-new pixel detector designed and built by a team at Fermilab in collaboration with 19 U.S. universities (including University of Illinois at Chicago) and more abroad. The pixel detector is the particle detection system closest to the collision point. It measures the position of particles as they make their way through the detector with a precision better than one-tenth the size of a human hair. This helps scientists distinguish bottom quarks—which are produced, for example, in the decay of a Higgs boson—from other types of quarks. Along with Professor Gerber, graduate students I. Daniel Sandoval Gonzalez, Christine O’Brien, Paul Turner and undergraduate student Brian Kapustka are preparing to test the detector modules during construction. Professor Gerber says, “The opportunity to work on a hardware project of this magnitude doesn't come around too often. You really stretch the technology when you build these devices, as you're mostly not dealing with off-the-shelf parts. Involving young people in this process, allowing them to see what it takes to actually build these detectors—I think that it really broadens their horizons.” For more on the story, go to the article in Fermilab Today (9/9/13).

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