Kenneth Barish, chair of the UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named one of two deputy spokespersons for the STAR Experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC, at the Brookhaven National Lab.
The Solenoid Tracker at RHIC, known as STAR, is the only major experiment currently operating at RHIC and tracks thousands of particles produced by ion collisions at the collider. The experiment aims to study the characteristics of a form of matter called quark-gluon plasma, or QCD, the detection of which would allow physicists to better understand the universe in the moments after the Big Bang. STAR involves 67 institutions from 13 countries and has 712 collaborators.
As a deputy spokesperson, Barish, a professor of physics and astronomy, will assist the STAR Experiment spokespersons who represent the collaboration in scientific, technical, and managerial concerns. Barish’s particular responsibilities focus on the Cold QCD and spin physics programs. The Cold QCD program aims to understand the spin structure of the proton. The spin physics program tests the hypothesis that spin is carried by gluons, elementary particles that hold the proton together.