Texas Tech University

Nural Akchurin, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Email: Nural.Akchurin@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 742-3767

Office: 101 Science Building

Ph.D. Physics, University of Iowa (1990)

A.B. Physics, Vassar College (1982)

Nural Akchurin

Research Interests

The discovery of the Higgs boson was one of the highlights of my work with the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. This discovery was a long time coming (I started working in CMS in 1994) and was especially memorable when the CERN announcement of this discovery came on the 4th of July 2012, which is Independence Day in the US. Now that the Higgs is “old news,” we are moving into unchartered territories at the high-energy frontier, searching for something new. Dark matter and dark energy remain enigmas. If dark matter can be produced in hadron colliders, we will find it.The TTU team and I are hard at work searching for it in CMS collisions that contain monojets, dijets, monophotons, and some other exotic topologies.

In the last two decades, I have worked on ways of improving energy measurements of fundamental particles at high energies. I led the R & D, construction, installation, and commissioning of the CMS forward calorimeters: these calorimeters are fast (Cherenkov radiation) and radiation-hard (fused-silica optical fibers). They are performing magnificently. My colleagues at TTU and I have developed a new type of calorimeter (so-called dual-readout) that takes advantage of the unique features of scintillation and Cherenkov photons to improve the energy measurements of hadrons. The dual-readout approach is fundamentally different from conventional techniques and paves the way for precision energy measurement for all fundamental particles, not just electromagnetically interacting ones. I am also working on high-granularity silicon calorimeters not only to explore the fine features of shower shapes but also to extract precision timing information in an attempt to mitigate large pile-up effects in the high luminosity LHC. We are in the R&D phase of these new devices and plan to construct a large fraction of CMS's endcap calorimeter modules at TTU's Advanced Particle Detector Lab (APD Lab) in the coming few years.

I enjoy working with undergraduate researchers. In Spring 2017, three groups of undergraduate students that I mentor presented their research results in conferences: muon tomography in the "Archeology Meets Particle Physics" project, detection of Cherenkov photons in air-showers initiated by very high-energy gamma rays by the HELADO (High Energy Llano Estacado Detector) group, and radiation hardness of scintillators for future applications. These are ongoing projects and interested undergraduates are welcome to contact me.

Selected Publications

Below you will find some of my publications in the last few years. For a complete list, click here.

  • On the timing performance of thin planar silicon sensors, N. Akchurin et al, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A859 (2017) 31-36
  • Jet energy scale and resolution in the CMS experiment in pp collisions at 8 TeV, CMS Collaboration, JINST 12 (2017) no.02, P02014
  • Search for narrow resonances decaying to dijets in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV, CMS Collaboration, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 071801 (2016)
  • Forward-backward asymmetry of Drell-Yan lepton pairs in pp collisions at 8 TeV, CMS Collaboration, Eur. Phys. J. C 76 325 (2016)
  • Dose rate effects in the radiation damage of the plastic scintillators of the CMS Hadron Endcap Calorimeter, CMS HCAL Collaboration, JINST 11 (2016) no.10, T10004
  • Combined Forward Calorimetry Option for Phase II CMS Endcap Upgrade, Nural Akchurin, J.Phys.Conf.Ser. 587 (2015) no.1, 012015
  • Search for a Higgs boson in the mass range from 145 to 1000 GeV decaying to a pair of W or Z bosons, CMS Collaboration, J. High Energy Phys. 10 144 (2015)
  • Search for WWγ and WZγ production and constraints on anomalous quartic gauge couplings in pp collisions at √s = 8TeV, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D, 90, 032008 (2014)
  • The electromagnetic performance of the RD52 fiber calorimeter, N. Akchurin et al, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A735 (2014) 130-144
  • Particle identification in the longitudinally unsegmented RD52 calorimeter, N. Akchurin et al, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A735 (2014) 120-129
  • Dual-readout Calorimetry, N. Akchurin et al.,arXiv:1307.5538 [physics.ins-det] (2013)
  • A New Boson with a Mass of 125 GeV Observed with the CMS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, CMS Collaboration, Science, 338(6114), 1569-1575 (2012)
  • Observation of a new boson with mass near 125 GeV in pp collisions at sqrt(s)=7 and 8 TeV, CMS Collaboration, JHEP 1306 (2013) 081
  • Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC, CMS Collaboration, Phys.Lett. B716 (2012) 30-61
  • Search for Dark Matter and Large Extra Dimensions in pp Collisions Yielding a Photon and Missing Transverse Energy, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 261803 (2012)
  • Detection of electron showers in dual-readout crystal calorimeters, N. Akchurin et al, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A686 (2012) 125-135
  • Hadron calorimetry, Nural Akchurin and Richard Wigmans, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A666 (2012) 80-97
  • Polarization as a Tool in Calorimetry, N. Akchurin, Phys.Procedia 37 (2012) 333-339
  • Some test results of an anti-Cherenkov photomultiplier tube, N. Akchurin, J. Damgov, S.W. Lee, E. Yazgan, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A695 (2012) 143-145
  • A comparison of BGO and BSO crystals used in the dual-readout mode, N. Akchurin et al, Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A640 (2011) 91-98
  • Search for Resonances in the Dijet Mass Spectrum from 7 TeV pp Collisions at CMS, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Lett. B 704 123-142 (2011)
  • Polarization as a tool for dual-readout calorimetry, N. Akchurin et al., Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A638 (2011) 47-54
  • Determination of Jet Energy Calibration and Transverse Momentum Resolution in CMS, CMS Collaboration, JINST 6 (2011) P11002

Department of Physics and Astronomy