Daniel M. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Research & 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 worked on properties of the strange, charm, and beauty quarks as well as on muons and neutrinos. 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 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 (one of the three such experiments worldwide), which is making precision measurements of direct transitions between electron neutrinos and tau neutrinos.
- I'm leading the nascent Muonium Interferometer Collaboration in developing an experiment to measure the free fall of antimatter, intended to use the proposed Project X Linac at Fermilab.
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.
- Enabling Intensity and Energy Frontier Science with a Muon Accelerator Facility in the U.S.: A White Paper Submitted to the 2013 U.S. Community Summer Study of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society, J-P. Delahaye et al. (eds.), FERMILAB-CONF-13-307-APC, arXiv:1308.0494 [physics.acc-ph] (2013).
- "The MICE Muon Beam on ISIS and the beam-line instrumentation of the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment," M. Bogomilov et al., Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 7, P05009 (2012).
- "Reactor electron antineutrino disappearance in the Double Chooz experiment," Y. Abe et al., Physical Review D, vol. 86, 052008 (2012).
- "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).