LSU Physicist Hanyu Wei awarded $50k from DOE to support research in High-Energy Physics

Assistant Professor Hanyu Wei
Assistant Professor Hanyu Wei

Out of 80 awarded projects from the U.S. Department of Energy, LSU’s Experimental Neutrino Physics Research with Liquid Argon TPCs has been recognized at the Intensity Frontier in High-Energy Physics.

The Short-Baseline Neutrino program (SBN) -- Intensity Frontier experiments at Fermilab are searching for signs of “sterile” neutrinos, hypothesized beyond-Standard-Model particles. Researchers at the University of Houston and LSU will take part in this program.

Dr. Hanyu Wei, assistant professor of physics and leader of the SBN group at LSU, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “This is a good start, and we are excited to be part of the SBN program, contributing to cutting-edge research at the particle physics frontier.”

Neutrinos, chargeless and insubstantial, interact rarely with other particles and were initially predicted to be massless. Since the discoveries of solar and atmospheric neutrino oscillations, revealing that neutrinos indeed have mass, the study of neutrino mixing and other phenomena associated with neutrino mass has become a forefront area of particle physics research.

The SBN program, utilizing multiple LArTPC detectors, seeks to address the anomalous low-energy excess of neutrino-related events over short distances, potentially leading to the discovery of ‘sterile’ neutrinos or other new physics processes beyond the standard model. SBN incorporates a near detector, SBND, a far detector, ICARUS, and a synergy with a third detector, MicroBooNE located on the same neutrino beam. The research in SBN program will also benefit the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a flagship international high energy physics project in the U.S. that the LSU group has been involved in for many years. DUNE is designed to primarily conduct precision neutrino oscillation measurements, probing the nature of neutrinos. 

Wei’s principle research interest is in experimental particle physics, primarily working on neutrino experiments, exploring the nature of neutrinos and unraveling the mysteries of neutrinos. Studying neutrinos, which are the least understood elementary particles, will play an important role in understanding how the universe works at the most fundamental level.

The projects were selected by competitive peer review under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for FY 2023 Research Opportunities in High Energy Physics. DOE has allocated $137 million in funding for 80 projects in high energy physics, where researchers explore what the world is made of and how it works at the smallest and largest scales, seeking new discoveries from the tiniest particles to the outer reaches of space. This quest inspires young minds, trains an expert workforce, and drives innovation that improves the nation’s health, wealth, and security.


Mimi LaValle

LSU Physics & Astronomy