Meet the Researcher - Suzanne Steel

Breakout Room: 21

SuzanneSteel-HeadshotResearcher Name: Suzanne Steel
Co-Presenter: Rebecca Corley
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 

Research Experience:  
Suzanne Steel, a senior physics major at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has been recognized for numerous academic achievements, leadership roles, and community service. She was awarded the NASA Space Grant Fellowship for 2020-2021 by the UNG Physics and Astronomy department and nominated as a UNG Woman Leader in Fall 2020. To note, she's actively involved in two theoretical research projects for low-mass stars and particle physics, but was previously involved in two Observational Astronomy studies with the Air Force Research Lab and her institution utilizing the Arecibo Observatory. Additionally, she works as a Telescope Operator for the UNG Observatory and was a Physics Learning Assistant. She will be pursuing a PhD in theoretical Physics/Astronomy to push the boundaries of science and research.          

Presentation Experience: 
Suzanne Steel has experience with collaboration, scientific writing, and public outreach. Most recently, she attended the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (2020) and the Georgia Regional Astronomy Meeting (2019) to present, 'Searching for Intermediate Velocity Molecular Clouds at High Galactic Latitudes during the poster presentation. At the Georgia Regional Astronomy Meeting, she and her research members presented a talk for 'Searching for Intermediate Velocity Molecular Clouds at High Galactic Latitudes. Outside of academics, she has enhanced her presentation and professional development skills by attending Dance Marathon Leadership Conference (2018) & Coalition of Collegiate Women's Leadership Conference (2019). She utilized those skills while being a lead coordinator for the UNG Dance Marathon which supported Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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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