Research Story

Nick Woods

Nick Woods

Graduated May 2007 | Major: Physics

My undergraduate research experience came in the summer of 2005 when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the PRIMEX experiment at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia. The goal of the PRIMEX experiment is to perform a precise measurement of the lifetime of the Pi-Zero (π0) particle. This lifetime is important in research in Quantum Chromodynamics, which describes the strong interaction between quarks. To determine this lifetime, a high-energy electron beam is used to create gamma radiation which interacts with virtual photons in the coulomb field of nuclei to produce the π0. The π0 then decays into two photons that are intercepted by the HYCAL detector, which sends the energies to be recorded. Working with the collaborators at Jefferson Lab gave me unparalleled insight into the scientific research process. My interest in science and the pursuit of knowledge has become a passion that I plan to investigate for many years to come.


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