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Dear Colleagues,

With over 30 fields of physics, our faculty and students are working together on some of today’s most cutting edge research. Already this year, their work is receiving international recognition.

Researchers participating in the IceCube experiment at the South Pole have just gotten one step closer to completing the one-cubic-kilometer international high energy neutrino observatory, the largest Neutrino Observatory in the world. This past year, experimentalist deployed 13 strings, bringing the total to 22 strings deployed and operating. When completed, IceCube will consist of 80 strings each with 60 optical modules, which will detect light from neutrino interactions.

Once completed, IceCube is expected to detect neutrinos in the high energy range.
The IceCube telescope will be a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. This research project will search for answers to unsolved questions in physics and cosmology, such as the origin of cosmic rays and the nature of dark matter. The Maryland team leading this exciting project includes Professor Jordan Goodman, Professor and Associate Chair Greg Sullivan and Assistant Professor Kara Hoffman.

Science Magazine recently released a special Particle Astrophysics issue which included a spotlight on IceCube. The issue is now available to Science subscribers at: www.sciencemag.org

We are also at a pivotal time in high energy physics research. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at CERN, is a particle accelerator scheduled to begin operation later this year. Researchers in our High Energy Physics Group have been involved in this exciting project. In fact, Andris Skuja was appointed to participate in the CMS experiment at the LHC. He will manage the entire hadron calorimeter subsystem for the international collaboration, which consists of 50 institutions from 15 countries. His responsibilities will include final installation, commissioning and maintenance at the startup of data talking.  Once commissioned, the LHC will be capable of recording any interesting collision from among 800 million collisions that occur each second. For sound technical reasons, we have every reason to believe that the LHC will yield new discoveries, bringing new knowledge and understanding of the Big Bang, all the way up to the large scale structure of the universe including galactic clusters and overall 4-dimensional geometry.  Researchers have waited 25 years to cross this new energy frontier, and this is the highest priority and most exciting project in high energy physics today.

To view images and learn more about this, much anticipated, experiment, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/magazine/14supercollider.t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin to read a NY Times spotlight.

Maryland Physics is exploring a variety of physics concepts and consistently generating provocative results. This truly is an exciting time for the department.




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