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Sheldon Stone named a Distinguished Professor at Syracuse University

Stone's research group is involved in experiments with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

Jan 28, 2013 | Article by: Judy Holmes

Sheldon Stone

Sheldon Stone, Distinguished Professor of Physics at Syracuse University

Sheldon Stone, professor in the Department of Physics in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was recently appointed Distinguished Professor by Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. Distinguished Professor is one of the University’s highest honors for faculty whose exemplary leadership in teaching and research has advanced the University’s scholarly mission.

“Professor Stone is a true leader in the international community of particle physicists,” says Peter Saulson, Martin A. Pomerantz ’37 Professor of Physics and Department Chair. “He is clearly one of the stars of the faculty at Syracuse University.”

Stone served for three years as project leader for the upgrade of the LHCb experiment on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN Laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHCb, one of four experimental collaborations on the LHC ring, is dedicated to searching for new types of fundamental forces in nature, especially those that would help explain the disappearance of antimatter in the universe. The LHCb collaboration involves some 800 physicists from 54 institutions and 15 countries. Other experiments at CERNs LHC led to the announcement in July 2012 of the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, a key piece needed to explain how the known particles and forces in the universe fit together.

Stone is the leader of SU’s high-energy physics group, which has played key roles in developing the ability of the LHCb experiment to take quality data. Monitoring devices were constructed for one component and sensors for another were tested at Fermilab. The group has also developed software to monitor the performance of the LHCb trigger device and software to align the thousands of independent detector components.  The data derived from the experiment has resulted in the publication of 93 scientific papers to date with Stone as the lead author on 12 of the papers.
Image of the LHCb experiment at CERN

LHCb experiment apparatus at CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland

Prior to his involvement with the LHCb at CERN, Stone was a leader in the field of heavy flavor physics and played a key role in the first observation of a particle with a b quark (the B meson) by the CLEO-I experiment at the CESR electron collider at Cornell University. He also discovered the Ds meson, consisting of c and s (for “strange”) quarks. He led the design and construction of the CLEO-II crystal electromagnetic calorimeter that had a major impact on CLEO and future generation experiments in the field.

He later led the design and construction of the Ring Imaging Cerenkov Detector (RICH detector) for the next major upgrade of the CLEO experiment called CLEO-III. Built at SU, the RICH detector was successfully operated at Cornell from 2000 until the end of the CLEO program in 2008. Stone served as co-spokesperson of the CLEO collaboration, the highest leadership rank in the large physics experiment.

The National Science Foundation has continuously funded SU’s high-energy physics group for some 50 years. Since 2000, grants with Stone as Principal Investigator have brought more than $12 million to SU.  Stone’s work is widely published in some of the most prestigious journals in the field.

Stone is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an elected member of the U.S. LHC User Organization’s executive committee, and a former member of the Fermilab Research Alliance, LLC Board of Directors. He is frequently invited to speak at international conferences on high-energy physics and often serves on the conference-organizing committees. In July 2012, he was invited to review “New Physics from Flavor,” at the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics held in Melbourne, the most prestigious international scientific conference in the field.

Stone has been at SU since 1991. Prior to his SU appointment, he was a senior research associate in the Laboratory of Nuclear Studies at Cornell University and an adjunct professor of physics at Cornell. He also served on the faculty of Vanderbilt University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College.


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Judy Holmes