Homer Neal

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Neal Homer

Samuel A. Goudsmit Professor of Physics
Director, ATLAS Project at CERN

Office Location(s): 375 West Hall
Lab:2209 Randall
Phone: 734.764.4375

  • Fields of Study
    • Elementary Particle Experiment
  • About

    Professor Neal is currently conducting his research at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in experimental high energy physics, where his research group is part of the ATLAS Experiment. Neal also participated in the DZERO collaboration that in 1995 announced the discovery of the top quark. Within the early phase of DZERO the Michigan group had particular responsibility for designing, implementing, and analyzing data from the Intercryostat Detector that was built by the team at University of Michigan. His technical research expertise includes the design of particle detectors, particle event reconstruction and analysis, large-scale database management and particle physics phenomenology. He has led many experiments that have elucidated the nature of spin effects in high energy particle interactions, including proton-proton elastic scattering, electron-positron scattering and in various inclusive hadronic reactions.

    In the early days of the ATLAS experiment, Professor Neal was involved in the development of the computing infrastructure required to carry out the planned physics analysis. This included work on high speed networking between CERN and the U.S., quality of service protocols, and the development of collaborative tools. He was involved with the U-M effort to construct muon chambers for the ATLAS forward muon spectrometer. In the DZERO experiment, he was involved with the development of the database for the calibration of various subsystem detectors. This work permitted the event reconstruction programs to have direct access to the relevant phased calibration data recorded in the experiment.

    Professor Neal is presently engaged in an ongoing study of spin effects in high energy collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. Recent papers in Physics Letters claim success in explaining the exceptionally large polarization and spin correlation effects observed in high energy p-p elastic scattering. This work is based on a quark-quark scattering model developed by Neal and Holger Nielsen at the Niels Bohr Institute.

    Professor Neal is Director of the UM-ATLAS Project, the Samuel A. Goudsmit Professor of Physics, Interim President Emeritus, and Vice President Emeritus for Research at the University of Michigan. From 1987 to 1993 he was Chair of the University of Michigan Physics Department.

    While on the National Science Board he chaired the committee that produced the Board's first comprehensive report on undergraduate science education. A result of that study is the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (REU), and the Research Experience for Teachers Program (RET) now flourishing today. He has also served as Chairman of the Physics Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation. He has delivered testimony on numerous occasions to Congress, on matters ranging from the funding of national laboratories to the state of science education.

    He is a member of the Board of the Ford Motor Company and currently chairs its Committee on Sustainability. He is a Director of the Lounsbery Foundation and is currently a member of the Council for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History on the Mall, and has served as a member of the National Research Council Board on Physics and Astronomy. He served as a member of the American Physical Society’s (APS) Panel on Public Affairs, and is the recipient of the Society’s Bouchet Award. He was recently elected Vice President of the APS beginning
    in 2014.

    He is a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, the Stony Brook Medal, and the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the AAAS, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    He holds Honorary Doctorates from Indiana University, Notre Dame University and Michigan State University.

    Selected Publications

    Explanation of the Structure of the Spin Correlation Parameter Ann in p-p Elastic Scattering at Multi-GeV Energies, (Homer A. Neal, Holger B. Nielsen), Phys. Letters B 508, 251-258 (2001).

    Studies of Elastic p-p Polarization and Differential Cross Section in a Simple Parton Scattering Model, (Homer A. Neal, Joseph Boon Kuah, and Holger B. Nielsen), Phys. Letters B 439, 407-414 (1998).

    Measurement of the W Boson Mass, (D0 Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Letters 77, 3309 (1996).

    Observation of the Top Quark, (D0 Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Letters 74, 2632 (1995).

    The Study of Inclusive Ë Production in e+ e- Annihilations at 29 GeV, (HRS Collaboration), Phys. Rev. D 45, 3949 (1992).

  • Education
    • Indiana University B.S. 1961
    • University of Michigan M.S. 1963
    • University of Michigan Ph.D. 1966.