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'Fermilab Today' Features Augustana Physics

The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the only U.S. laboratory dedicated to high-energy physics, recently featured Augustana among the worldwide universities it collaborates with, in Fermilab Today, its online publication.

The mission of Fermilab is to "advance the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct basic research at the frontiers of high energy physics and related disciplines."

The Lab says it conducts basic research into particle physics.

"We investigate the smallest building blocks of matter separated by the smallest distances that science has ever explored. We're constantly trying to learn more about these fundamental particles, and understand the forces that hold them together or force them apart. We conduct our investigations by making these particles collide-which might sound unusual, but remember that we see things in the world around us because photons bounce off them and make an impression on our retina, which is then transmitted by the optic nerve to the brain for processing. We're following a similar path to 'see' what happens in these subatomic collisions-sort of like a giant microscope, using a different form of 'light.'"

Locally, Fermilab is developing a relationship with the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, S.D. The collaboration includes future plans to send a beam of neutrinos from Fermilab to the Sanford Lab.

Augustana has collaborated with Fermilab since 2006. In describing what sets particle physics at Augustana apart, Fermilab says:

"The Augustana College particle physics group is one of only a few groups in which undergraduate education is the primary focus. Our goal is to give our exceptional students a balanced education that not only prepares them for graduate coursework but also introduces them to research so they are ready to participate in research activities when they arrive at graduate school. We are proud that, since the group started in 2006, we have sent students to graduate programs at Arizona State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Minnesota."