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Department of Physics News

Discover Magazine ranks a discovery co-led by Kent State as the #3 physics/math story for 2011

Posted Feb. 13, 2012

Kent State University researchers are co-leaders of an international team that discovered antihelium-4, the most massive antinucleus known to date. Discover magazine recently compiled a list of the top 100 science stories for 2011, and it ranked the antihelium-4 discovery as the number three story under physics and math, and as the number 20 story under all areas of science.

In April 2011, the STAR collaboration’s peer-reviewed findings were published online by the journal Nature, the world's most highly-cited interdisciplinary science journal.

The international team of scientists studies high-energy collisions of gold nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4 mile-circumference particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y. The new antinucleus was discovered at RHIC’s STAR detector, and the same group set the previous world record for the heaviest known antinucleus in 2010. 

Kent State physics professors Declan Keane and Spiros Margetis are the principal investigators of the project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, of which a major goal was the pursuit of this research. The author contact on behalf of the full international team is Brookhaven scientist Aihong Tang, whose PhD adviser was Prof. Declan Keane.  Dr. Tang received his doctoral degree from Kent State in 2002.

For more information about the antihelium discovery, view Kent State’s original announcement