PhD project: Very Strange Physics — Understanding Hyperons

Project description

The dynamics of the nucleon under typical conditions are dominated by the light u and quarks. However when studying systems at higher density, such as neutron stars, heavier strange quarks play an increasingly important role. In fact, within these highly dense systems, hyperons (nucleons with at least one strange quark) constantly appear, and their subsequent decay is strongly suppressed due to the Pauli exclusion principle. Therefore, fundamental properties of neutron stars, such as their mass and cooling mechanism, heavily depend on the nature of the interaction between hyperons and nucleons and on the dynamics involving strange matter. These interactions are the leading candidate to understand the clear and large discrepancies between calculated and measured properties of neutron stars, such as their masses. 

Our group is leading major studies to understand fundamental characteristics of very strange hyperons as well as how these interact with normal matter. The experimental facility at ThomasJeffersonNationalLaboratory that houses the CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS12) provides us with the tools needed to shed light on strangeness. The PhD project will be devoted on developing the analysis framework and performing the data analysis of  data collected with the CLAS12 detector system, to address the glaring gap in our current knowledge of hyperons.

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