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Menzione and Ristori win the 2009 Panofsky award! September 27, 2008

Posted by dorigo in news, physics, science.
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Pief Panofsky

Pief Panofsky

For their leading role in the establishment and use of precision silicon tracking detectors at hadron colliders, enabling broad advances in knowledge of the top quark, b-hadrons, and charm-hadrons“.

The W.K.H. Panofsky prize in Experimental Particle Physics was established in 1985 by the Division of Particles and Fields of the APS, with friends of  Wolfgang Panofsky (Pief for everybody), to commemorate the brilliant scientist, and “To recognize and encourage outstanding achievements in Experimental Particle Physics.“, as stated in the APS site.

Aldo Menzione and Luciano Ristori have indeed been instrumental in making the silicon tracking of the CDF experiment an overwhelming success.They have been faithful to CDF since the very first step of the project in 1980, when they joined the collaboration. Their continuative work for the design, the construction, the commissioning, and the operation of the SVX detector, installed in 1992 in the core of CDF, and then replaced with upgraded versions and enlarged by the ISL and L00 for Run II, has been crucial for these projects. The SVX allowed CDF to see top quarks already in 1994, by means of the precise determination of charged track parameters and the reconstruction of the secondary vertices created by the decay of the long-lived B hadrons inside hadronic jets.

Luciano has also been the mastermind behind the SVT, a breakthrough in the complex problem of triggering on B decays at hadron colliders. The SVT allowed CDF to collect millions and millions of extremely interesting exclusive decays of B and D hadrons in Run II, enabling measurements that have challenged, and surpassed, the precision of B factories on several crucial quantities of the Standard Model, and which have allowed the precise measurement of the oscillation frequency of B_s mesons.

A search in the archive of internal CDF notes reveals the following “foundational” documents:

CDF-0591, “BASIC DESIGN PARAMETERS OF THE SILICON VERTEX DETECTOR FOR CDF (SVX)”, by Menzione, Ristori et al., December 1987;

CDF-1421, “SVT: THE SILICON VERTEX TRACKER (VERSION 1)”, by Luciano Ristori (only author), April 1991.

Below, a nice picture of Luciano babysitting his precious toy (my apologies for Aldo, but I find NO pictures of him around!):

And below, a picture worth a thousand words: the signal of B meson decays to two hadrons is impossible to see without the SVT, which determines track impact parameters with a precision almost as good as that available with offline software reconstruction. Here are a few of those babies saved from oblivion:

Finally, let me add that this prize is also a very good way for Luciano to celebrate his sixtieth birthday next December 13th. Sixty more of these great years, Luciano!