Physics Student Interns at the Jefferson Lab

By Jacob Cavender

Photo of Robert BeharyRobert Behary is a physics major at Duquesne University and is currently working on a larger collaborative project in the Jefferson Lab called CLAS12. Robert's project is focused on the Forward Tagger detector, which detects exotic mesons - a specific type of non-quark subatomic particle. The detector works by examining the electrons dispersed by these mesons particles.

Behary conducted some of his research over the summer in Genoa, Italy, where he collaborated with other researchers on this project. Behary examined the radiation damage on the electromagnetic calorimeter's light crystals to find ways to reduce damage to the Forward Tagger, repair any damage, and improve accuracy. Most of the reason for this radiation damage is due to the fact that the detector is close to the particle beam, as well as the target that the particle beam hits. This close proximity largely increases the amount of radiation that the detector is exposed to when the particles are scattered.

Most of his research involved examining data produced by the Forward Tagger. Being that the Forward Tagger detector is new, some of Behary's questions were not able to be answered, such as how the temperature of the light crystals would affect how light flows through and is absorbed by the detector. While some of the data showed inconclusive results, there were certain patterns that emerged to find more definitive results. Much of Behary's guidance came from Dr. Fatiha Benmokhtar in the Physics department at Duquesne University. Dr. Benmokhtar helped Behary through some of the more difficult areas of his project. In the future, Behary hopes to continue these experiments to solidify these results and increase the amount of data that he is able to examine with his colleagues. Behary has had a positive and engaging undergraduate research experience and enjoyed his time over the summer in Italy.