Electric vehicles are dramatically changing the way people move from place to place, ushering in an era of cleaner transportation. But according to Carlo Segre, Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics at Illinois Institute of Technology, there is still one big hitch: the distance such vehicles can travel before needing to be recharged.
Segre says that the more affordable electric vehicles today can travel approximately 100 miles on a single charge, and for some drivers, this presents what he refers to as “range anxiety”—a predicament Segre hopes to address through his research.
In a three-year, $3.4 million project funded by the United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Segre’s interdisciplinary team, including IIT collaborator John Katsoudas (PHYS ’97, M.S. ’04); Vijay Ramani, Hyosung S. R. Cho Endowed Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT; and collaborators from Argonne National Laboratory—Elena Timofeeva, Dileep Singh, John Zhang, and Michael Duoba (ME ’91)—will design and construct a new kind of battery for such vehicles. More »
The Double Chooz Reactor-Neutrino Experiment
The goal of the Double Chooz experiment is to make a measurement of the Θ13 neutrino mixing angle. This measurement will be ten times more accurate than the current value. The Double Chooz experiment will use two identical detectors, one at 400m and another at 1.05km from the Chooz nuclear cores. The first detector is planned to be active in 2010, while the second detector will be active by the end of 2011.
Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Study (MINOS)
Neutrinos soar through the universe, through planets, through us, never slowing down. They leave no trace and almost never interact with other particles. Consequently, neutrinos are very hard to detect.
This experiment is designed to study neutrino oscillations. A beam of neutrino particles produced by the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) beamline facility is sent through two detectors, one at Fermilab and one in the Soudan Mine in northern Minnesota. The beam passes under Northern Illinois and Wisconsin in a split second trip to the detector in Minnesota. Through this experiment, scientists hope to achieve a better understanding of neutrinos.
MINOS has been taking data for four years and has published the world's best limit on the neutrino mass splitting known as "delta-m-squared 2-3."
Daya Bay Reactor Anti-Neutrino Experiment
This neutrino-oscillation experiment is designed to measure the mixing angle, Θ13, using anti-neutrinos produced by the reactors of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant and the Ling Ao Nuclear Power Plant. While Θ13 was previously measured in the Chooz experiment, researchers plan to use larger detectors to increase sensitivity and precision.
Synchrotron X-ray Radiation and the Development of Novel X-ray Optical Components and Sources
Tim Morrison's research interests include X-ray (synchrotron radiation) absorption spectroscopic studies of disordered materials, particularly catalysts and alloys, as well as research and development of novel X-ray optical components and sources. In addition, Morrison is working on a means of easing the transition from high school to university-level science courses.
Muon Accelerator Program (MAP) and Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE)
The Muon Accelerator Program (MAP) was created in 2010 to unify the Department of Energy-supported research and development in the United States to develop the concepts and technologies required for muon colliders and neutrino factories.
These muon-based facilities have the potential to discover and explore new exciting fundamental physics, but will require the development of demanding technologies and innovative concepts. The MAP aspires to prove the feasibility of a muon collider within a few years, and to make significant contributions to the international effort devoted to developing neutrino factories.
It is the goal of the international Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) to establish the feasibility of ionization cooling for muons, to build a section of an actual cooling channel, to measure its performance in various configuration, and to develop and test all necessary software. MICE is implemented in steps with each step adding more crucial components and allowing for more essential studies. Step I data taking was completed in Summer 2010, and new data analysis is ongoing, while contributors to the experiment from all over the world prepare the next stage.