By: Richelle Martin
Dr. Stefan Meinel, Assistant Professor in the University of Arizona Department of Physics and tenure track fellow with RIKEN BNL Research Center, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Kenneth G. Wilson Award. The award was presented to Professor Meinel at the 33rd International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory in Kobe, Japan, for his substantial and timely contributions in new research directions in physics of the bottom quark using lattice QCD. Lattice quantum chromodynamics was formulated by Nobel Laureate Kenneth G. Wilson in 1974, and has since become a powerful tool for precise calculations of the strong interactions of quarks and gluons using supercomputers. Professor Meinel performed pioneering lattice QCD calculations describing decays of bottom quarks, which are being studied at the Large Hadron Collider to search for new fundamental physics. Recently, Meinel's calculations of the baryonic decay Λb → p μ ν allowed the LHCb Collaboration to perform the first determination of |Vub|, the smallest and least well known element of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa quark mixing matrix, at the Large Hadron Collider. The results have been published in a recent paper in Nature Physics.