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Senior finds error in supercollider algorithm

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 24, 2009

[Originally posted at: The Daily Princetonian]

Xiaohang Quan ’09 was working on her senior thesis when she found a miscalculation in the hardware of the world’s largest particle accelerator.

Quan, a physics concentrator, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, last week with physics professors Christopher Tully GS ’98, Jim Olsen and Daniel Marlow for the annual meeting of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). This year, however, they also came to discuss Quan’s discovery with the designers of the hardware for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, which, as part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has the potential to revolutionize particle physics.

In the hardware used to record and capture events in the LHC, she discovered errors that were leading to the appearances of double images because of particle streams known as jets.

Quan’s thesis focuses on the various jet selection criteria for the LHC and finding which algorithms will be most efficient for analysis of the physics. She has worked with Tully over the past few years and said she was surprised when she discovered a discrepancy between her predictions and results when drawing her initial plots.

[Read the rest of this post at: The Daily Princetonian]

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