University of Minnesota
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Kenneth Heller

Professor

PHYS 260A (office), 624-7314
heller @ physics.umn.edu

KenHeller.jpg

COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR 2007-; MORSE ALUMNI DISTINGUISHED TEACHING PROFESSOR 1997-; GEORGE TAYLOR DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD 2011; INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR 1999; GEORGE TAYLOR OUTSTANDING RESEARCH AWARD 1988; AAAS Fellow 2012; APS Fellow 1996; PRESIDENT AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICS TEACHERS 2006; CHAIR APS FORUM ON EDUCATION 2000; Assoc. Head, School of Physics and Astronomy 1998-2010; Director of Undergraduate Studies 1992-1998.

NRC Committee, Disciplined Based Education 2010-2012; NRC Steering Committee, Innovations in Undergraduate STEM Education 2008; Instructor,APS/AAPT/AAS/AIP New Faculty Workshop 1996 - ; Advisory Committee APS/AAPT Graduate Education Conference 2007-2008; APS Committee on Public Policy 2006-2009; APS Council 2006-2008; AIP Governing Board Chair Selection Committee 2008; AIP Nominating Committee 2006; AIP Board of Governors 2005 -2008; Physical Review PRST Editorial Board 2005-2010; College Board Advanced Placement Physics Commission 2005-2006; NSF Committee of Visitors 2003; Chair APS Szilard Award Committee APS 2004; American Journal of Physics Editorial Advisory Board 2003-2006; Fermilab User’s Executive Committee 1999-2000, 1984-1986; Fermilab Board of Overseers 1988-1992; Board of Trustees, Universities Research Association 1985-88.

Research Areas
Research in high energy particle physics currently focuses on neutrino oscillations as measured in long baseline accelerator experiments. Research in physics education focuses the use, learning, and teaching of problem solving in physics.

Current Research

My research involves determining the characteristics of the fundamental interactions of the Universe using both accelerator and non-accelerator techniques. In other words, High Energy Particle Physics. Currently my research focuses on neutrinos.(http://www.hep.umn.edu/)

Neutrinos are one tool to investigate the origin of mass and perhaps the origin of our universe. Recently some of the major puzzles in nature have been explained because neutrinos are not massless particles. Massive neutrinos oscillate from one type of neutrino to another while in flight. The NOvA project shoots a beam of neutrinos through the Earth from Fermilab to our Neutrino Laboratory in Northern Minnesota and detects the identity of the neutrinos. This long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment is now being built to investigate the difference between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos by studying electron neutrino oscillations, to determine the ordering of the neutrino masses, and to make a precision measurement of the mixing between muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos. This experiment will also be able to detect neutrinos from a supernova in our galaxy.

I was also involved in the experiment that discovered the last particle in the Standard Model, the tau neutrino. The first results were published in 2001.

Since I teach at a University, I am also interested in the most effective way to assist students in learning Physics. In particular our Physics Education Research Group is investigating better ways to teach physics through problem solving. (http://groups.physics.umn.edu/physed)

Advisees and Collaborators

Bijaya Aryal, Research Collaborator
Minerba Betancourt, Fellow (Physics)
Susan Kasahara, Info Tech Prof
Susan Lein, Research Assistant
Andrew Mason
Leon Mualem, Research Associate
Nathaniel Pearson, Coordinator
Qing Xu Ryan, Research Assistant
Jie Yang, Teaching Assistant
Jan Zirnstein, Research Assistant

Selected Publications

MINOS Collaboration (P. Adamson et al.) Minnesota authors: P.M. Border, T.R. Chase, H. Courant, H.R. Gallagher, Kenneth J. Heller, S.M.S. Kasahara, P.J. Litchfield, M.L. Marshak, J.K. Nelson, N. Pearson, Observation of Muon Neutrino Disappearance with the MINOS Detector in the NUMI Neutrino Beam, PRL 97, 191801 (2006).,

First observations of separated atmospheric nu(mu) and anti-nu(mu) events in the MINOS detector, Phys. Rev. D73, 72002 (2006),

Charles Henderson, Edit Yerushalmi, Vince H. Kuo, Patricia Heller, Kenneth Heller, Grading student problem solutions: The challenge of sending a consistent message, American Journal of Physics Vol72, pp. 164-169 (2004) [abstract]

DONUT Collaboration (K. Kodama et al.) Minnesota authors: D. Ciampa, C. Erickson, M. Graham, Kenneth J. Heller, R. Rusack, R. Schwienhorst, J. Sielaff, J. Trammell, J. Wilcox, OBSERVATION OF TAU NEUTRINO INTERACTIONS., Phys.Lett.B504:218-224,2001 [abstract]

P. Border, P. Cushman, Kenneth J. Heller, D. Maxam, J.K. Nelson, K. Ruddick, R. Rusack, R. Schwienhorst, T. Berg, T. Chase, M. Hansen, C. Bower, R. Hatcher, R. Heinz, L. Miller, S. Mufson, A LARGE LIQUID SCINTILLATOR DETECTOR FOR A LONG BASELINE NEUTRINO OSCILLATION EXPERIMENT, Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A463:194-204,2001 [abstract]

MINOS collaboration, Search for sterile neutrino mixing in the MINOS long-baseline experiment, Phys. Rev D81, 052004 (2010) [abstract]

MINOS collaboration, New constraints on muon-neutrino to electron-neutrino transitions in MINOS, Phys. Rev. D82, 051102(2010) [abstract]

Edit Yerushalmi, Elisheva Cohen, Kenneth Heller, Patricia Heller, Charles Henderson, Instructors' reasons for choosing problem features in a calculus-based introductory physics course, Phys. Rev. ST-PER 6, 020108 (2010) [abstract]

MINOS collaboration, Neutrino and antineutrino inclusive charged-current cross section measurements with the MINOS near detector, Phys. Rev. D81, 072002,(2010) [abstract]

RENAISSANCE OF THE 1 TeV FIXED-TARGET PROGRAM, Int J. Mod. Phys, A25,777-813(2010) [abstract]

MINOS collaboration, Observation of muon intensity variations by season with the MINOS far detector, Phys Rev D81, 012001 (2010) [abstract]

MINOS collaboration, Search for Muon-Neutrino to Electron-Neutrino Transitions in MINOS, PRL 103, 261802 (2009) [abstract]

Charge-separated atmospheric neutrino-induced muons in the MINOS far detector, Phys.Rev (2007)

Measurement of neutrino velocity with the MINOS detectors and NuMI neutrino beam, Phys.Rev (2007)

Measurement of the atmospheric muon charge ratio at TeV energies with MINOS, Phys.Rev (2007)

Physics faculty beliefs and values about the teaching and learning of problem solving. I. Mapping the common core,, Phys. Rev (2007)

Physics faculty beliefs and values about the teaching and learning of problem solving. II. Procedures for measurement and analysis, Phys. Rev (2007)

MINOS Collaboration (P. Adamson et al.) Minnesota authors: P.M. Border, T.R. Chase, H. Courant, H.R. Gallagher, Kenneth J. Heller, S.M.S. Kasahara, P.J. Litchfield, M.L. Marshak, J.K. Nelson, N. Pears, THE MINOS SCINTILLATOR CALORIMETER SYSTEM, IEEE Trans.Nucl.Sci.49:861-863,2002

DONUT Collaboration (R. Schwienhorst et al.) Minnesota authors: R. Schwienhorst, R. Rusack, D. Ciampa, C. Erickson, M. Graham, Kenneth J. Heller, J. Sielaff, J. Trammell, J. Wilcox, A NEW UPPER LIMIT FOR THE TAU - NEUTRINO MAGNETIC MOMENT, Phys.Lett.B513:23-29,2001 [abstract]

Education

Ph.D., University of Washington, 1973
B.A., University of California, Berkeley 1965