The purpose of the mu2e experiment is to witness a muon to electron conversion. Observing this conversion would allow physicists to begin to understand why particles in the same category, or family, decay into more stable mass states. Discovering the detail of how this occurs is the key to discovering what physics lies beyond the Standard Model. While the theoretical discovery would be significant, achieving this conversion would have numerous practical benefits. We know that the movement of electrons causes electricity. Muons are a heavier cousin to the electron, but the relationship is still not defined. The Muons-to-Electrons (mu2e) experiment planned at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will help discover this relationship. So by understanding muons, we will better understand the electrons and electricity that powers our society.
Since September of 2013, I have been a research assistant for the mu2e experiment. My research focus has been to give mechanical engineering design support to the particle physics project. This was done by developing several structural members. Participating in the University Honors Scholars Program has enabled me to continue my research and has allowed me to dedicate the time and focus to research a new aspect of the project.
Currently, I am in the process of developing the muon beamline rail design and beginning a structural analysis. The integrity of the rail design is critical to the project as it will be used to structurally support numerous components during installation. These various components (i.e. tracker, calorimeter, beam stop and proton absorber) are to be transported, aligned, and installed inside a vacuum chamber called the Detector Solenoid Cryostat. Developing this design has required me to consider manufacturability factors as well as the cost of fabrication. Completing this endeavor is not only allowing me to have a distinguished Capstone, but is also helping accelerate project progress as the mu2e experiment transitions beyond the conceptual phase.
My future focus is finalize my preliminary design and complete the structural analysis. Once this has occurred, I will present the design and simulation results to my faculty mentor, Fermilab management, and project engineers for technical review. Based upon their feedback, I will make any required modifications and document the design for production. The detailed design documents will uploaded to the project database for fellow project members to review and reference. These documents will also be utilized during Department of Energy Technical Design Reviews.