Meet the Researcher - Rebecca Corley

Breakout Room: 21

RebeccaCorley-HeadshotResearcher Name: Rebecca Corley
Co-Presenter: Suzanne Steel
Title of Research: Probing Nuclear Structure and Dynamics at the Electron-Ion Collider 
Division Representing: Physics and Astronomy
Institution: University of North Georgia
Institution Location: Georgia
Home State: Georgia
District Number: 9
Advisor/Mentor: Sonny Mantry
Funding Source: University of North Georgia Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities 
Scholarship: McNair Scholar

Research Experience:  
Rebecca Corley exhibits a diverse research background in subjects including: particle physics, astrophysics, and biochemistry. She is working on two research projects in particle physics, both being computationally intensive and funded by the UNG research center. In the summer of 2020 she participated in an REU-style research program gaining experience in computational work and data analysis. She has worked as a teaching assistant for lower and upper-level physics courses. She volunteers for community outreach as the president of the UNG Women in Physics chapter, and as a member of the Society of Physics Students and the UNG Astronomy Club. In the future she plans to pursue a PhD specializing in theoretical particle physics, and hopes to expand scientific knowledge while promoting inclusivity in physics.         

Presentation Experience: 
Rebecca Corley has presented her work on Probing Nuclear Structure and Dynamics at the Electron-Ion Collider” at interdisciplinary conferences including in poster sessions at the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (2020) and as a talk at the UNG Annual Research Pitch (2020). She presented her summer astrophysics project at the institution-wide research symposium. Her experience presenting in an interdisciplinary setting has refined her ability to communicate scientific ideas to a wide audience. This semester she is presenting at conferences including: the American Physical Society's Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (2021), the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (2021), Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference (2021), the Eastern College's Virtual Science Conference (2021), and UNG's Annual Research Conference (2021).   

Significance of Research:       
The United States Department of Energy recently announced that the Brookhaven National Laboratory will be the site for a new cutting-edge particle accelerator facility called the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC). Particle physics at the EIC will involve studies of high energy electron-nucleus collisions designed to unravel fundamental questions about the structure and dynamics of nuclei. Since we cannot directly observe the interior structure of the nucleus, the EIC will collide electrons and nuclei at high energies and study the emerging subatomic collision debris. In this work, we focus on an electron-nucleus collision observable called 1-jettiness. The 1-jettiness observable characterizes the pattern of electron-nucleus collision debris, which is highly sensitive to nuclear Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs). PDFs describe the distribution of quarks and gluons within protons and neutrons, which make up atomic nuclei. Using computer simulations for the proposed design parameters at the EIC, we generate hundreds of millions of electron-nucleus collisions and test the feasibility of implementing 1-jettiness as a high precision tool for extracting nuclear PDFs. Our work is part of a global effort, contributing to the large array of tools used at the EIC to probe nuclear structure.  

Uniqueness of Research: 
Probing Nuclear Structure and Dynamics at the Electron-Ion Collider investigates subatomic structure by studying pattern debris from electron-nucleus collisions. Our work contributes to unraveling our understanding of the basic building blocks of matter. 


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