Tech Physics professor publishes groundbreaking paper

Apr 24, 2019 | Engineering and Science, Engineering and Science

Dr. Markus Wobisch, associate professor of physics at Louisiana Tech University has published a paper that redefines the “strong coupling constant.” The collaboration with Daniel Britzger (University Heidelberg), Klaus Rabbertz (Karlsruhe University), Daniel Saviou (Karlsruhe University) and Georg Sieber (Karlsruhe University), titled “Determination of the strong coupling constant using inclusive jet cross section data from multiple experiments,” has been published in the European Physics Journal C.

Markus WobischThe paper makes a significant contribution to the understanding of fundamental physics, as it provides the groundwork for a better understanding of the strong coupling constant. The four fundamental forces which are responsible for all interactions of matter are the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the weak nuclear and the strong nuclear. The latter is responsible for binding groups of quarks into protons and neutrons, and also for binding protons and neutrons to form the atomic nuclei. The strengths of the four fundamental forces are characterized by corresponding coupling constants from which the strong coupling constant is known with the least precision.

“The new analysis is a significant step forward,” Wobisch said, “as we were able to demonstrate the consistency of a large number of the experimental data, but also some inconsistencies for one of the data sets. The new combined analysis results in a significant improvement of the experimental uncertainty of the strong coupling constant.”

The results are based on the analysis of recent data in particle collisions from seven experiments at four particle colliders, including recent data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), of which Louisiana Tech is a member.

The authors have compared different statistical methods for the data analysis and proposed one method for a coherent treatment of all data sets.

“The work of Dr. Wobisch and his colleagues represents a major synthesis of our current knowledge of the strong nuclear force,” said Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of chemistry and physics at Louisiana Tech. “Many of the measurements that went into this paper were made by the Louisiana Tech Particle Physics group through our work on the D-Zero experiment at Fermilab near Chicago, and the ATLAS experiment at the CERN laboratory in Geneva.”

“The new study also lays the groundwork for future results with significantly improved theoretical precision, based on improved theoretical calculations which are expected in the near future,” Wobisch added.

The paper can be found at