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Physicist receives DOE grant for work on particle experiment


Amir Farbin, an assistant professor of physics, has received an Early Career Research Award from the Department of Energy. The award was announced January 14. The five-year grant, in the amount of $750,000, will largely support Farbin's work on ATLAS, a particle physics experiment using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Following the five-year grant, Farbin will be added to his group's annual base grant of at least $150,000.

ATLAS has been called the world's largest scientific experiment. The project seeks new discoveries through the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy using the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator. ATLAS scientists hope to learn such things as the origin of mass, extra dimensions of space, unification of fundamental forces, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the universe. There are over 2,000 scientists and researchers involved in the ATLAS project.

Farbin will be the sole principal investigator for the grant, but his collaborators will include other members of UT Arlington's High Energy Physics group, as well as Farbin's postdoctoral and undergraduate students. "Since this grant essentially funds me for the rest of my career, it allows me to shift my focus from looking for funding to research," Farbin said. "Obviously I'm very happy to be able to make this transition, and the implications for my job security allow me to feel more secure."

Farbin came to UT Arlington after visiting and being impressed with its High Energy Physics group. He also knew and had previously collaborated with Dr. Kaushik De, a UT Arlington physics professor and HEP group member.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the supporting nature of the HEP group," he said. "I felt that they wanted me to succeed and would help me. They say joining the faculty of a university is like a marriage, and I felt most comfortable with the UTA group. I find everyone very supportive and I like the dynamic within the department."

Farbin Farbin is excited by the opportunities presented by the career grant.

"There are several ideas in my proposal which I feel are completely new and hopefully will have a lasting impact on our field," Farbin said. "It is nice to have my ideas understood and appreciated. I hope that I will be able build some good collaborations with like-minded physicists."

The Department of Energy's new Early Career Research Program is designed to improve the U.S. scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early years of their careers, when many scientists do their most formative work. Sixty-nine awardees were selected from a pool of 1,750 university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts.

This report contains material from the ATLAS website. For more on the project, go to: