Theory Center Deputy Pursues Lattice QCD Research

David Richards
Theory Center, Deputy Director

As a young man, David Richards, thought he was headed for a career in mathematics. The Wallingford, England, native excelled in the subject throughout his schooling and headed off to Cambridge intent on that degree. But, working in an accounting office in the days when accounting was done with, as he puts it, "bits of paper and double-entry account keeping," disabused him of the notion of that application of math.

"It was," he noted, "very boring."

By the time he completed a bachelor's degree and beyond in math, he'd already determined that he was going to head in a different direction.

"I just knew I was not cut out to be a pure math type," he said.

Now JLab's deputy director of the Theory Center, Richards went on to earn a Ph.D. at Cambridge University. There, he worked on Perturbative Quantum Chromodynamics under James Stirling and Peter Landshoff. He then went to Southampton University for his postdoctoral work in particle theory, where he, in his words, "first dipped my toes in the water of lattice."

He first came to the United States in 1986 to work as a postdoc at Argonne National Lab in the High Energy Physics division. While there he met the woman who would become his wife.

"We were both the worst badminton players at the Oak Park YMCA," he said with a laugh.

Her pursuits were decidedly unscientific. A fashion major, she came from a family of artists and had worked at the Art Institute of Chicago.

They returned to the U.K. in 1988 for Richards' work as a postdoc in particle theory at the University of Edinburgh, a major center for lattice QCD work. With its own ICL supercomputer, the group at Edinburgh came in with some impressive results. The UKQCD national collaboration allowed the group to purchase another supercomputer, which Richards describes as "a big box that looked like a wardrobe."

In the early 1990s, Richards met Nathan Isgur, who would become JLab's chief scientist, when Richards organized a workshop at Edinburgh at which Isgur spoke. When Richards and his wife were considering a return to the U.S. in the late 1990s, he rang Isgur up and found that the lattice group was about to begin. Richards came to Jefferson Lab as a staff scientist and joint faculty member at Old Dominion University in 1999. He became a full-time staff scientist in 2002 and served as acting Theory Center leader from September 2009 through October 2010. He was appointed deputy director of the Theory Center in mid-October 2010.

"This is a big experimental lab, and a big theory lab," he noted. "Together, we have this amazing amalgam of theorists and experimentalists and an outstanding opportunity for the two to come together. Being at a lab like this, and having the opportunity to actually talk to and interact with the people who are doing the experiments, allows us all to see the whole picture."

Richards' current research focus is aimed at garnering a better understanding of so-called "excited states." These are subatomic particles that were once the familiar protons and neutrons, but now have additional energy. The experimental determination of their masses and properties is an important effort at Jefferson Lab, any particularly in Hall B. Richards and his colleagues use supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Lab, and the high-performance GPU-enabled (graphics processing unit) clusters at Jefferson Lab, to compute the masses and properties of these excited states from first principles, using lattice QCD. Comparing these calculations with experimental data provides crucial insights into the nature of matter, and how the masses of so-called hadronic matter, such as protons and neutrons, arise from QCD.

A particularly exciting recent calculation is that of the masses of so-called "exotic mesons," mesons that cannot be constructed from straightforward excitations of a quark and an antiquark, the fundamental building blocks of QCD. The search for such mesons is the aim of the GlueX experiment with CEBAF at 12 GeV. Richards and his colleagues predict that there will be exotic mesons at a mass that will be accessible to GlueX, underpinning the scientific imperative for the experiment.

Throughout his career, Richards has received numerous awards, including scholarships at Cambridge and an advanced Fellowship at Edinburgh. He serves on committees such as the Lattice QCD Executive Committee and was the co-organizer of Lattice 2008, the 26th International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory held in Williamsburg, and a panel convener for Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing, held in 2009 in Washington, D.C.

Richards and his family live in Williamsburg. He is an avid cyclist, shooting for 100 miles a week, although he confesses to being a "fair-weather rider" who achieves his goal only part of the year. His wife, who went on to earn an MBA, worked in marketing with large pharmaceutical companies after their return to the U.S., and their son is a high-school sophomore and basketball player.

By Judi Tull
Feature writer

Opportunities, Passions Take Engineer Around the World

Kevin Jordan
Free-Electron Laser Division, Senior Engineer

Senior Engineer Kevin Jordan, Free-Electron Laser Division, spent his youth on the go - always tinkering and always pushing the limits. Seventeen broken bones and a burn on his hand from an adventure with exploding rocket fuel, attest to his inveterate Type-A spirit.

This self-described "cheesehead" from Wisconsin admits he was never a scholar, but an avid builder, outdoorsman and athlete instead. After finishing technical school with an associate degree, he immediately went into the then-hot telecomm industry of the 1970s, working with digital switches and equipment calibration and testing. A colleague landed a job at Fermilab and suggested that Jordan look into it, too.

"I had no idea what it was," he recalled with a laugh. "I didn't even know national labs existed or what they were."

He followed up and was offered and accepted a position in the power supply group at Fermilab. During daily swims, Jordan learned about the lab's history from, in his words, "a nice older guy" who happened to be Fermilab's deputy director, Ned Goldwasser. As a result of their daily conversations and Jordan's interests, he moved into Electrical Engineering support group and began night school at Illinois Institute of Technology to complete his BSEE. After a number of years, he became group leader for switchyard support, which encompassed 2.5 miles of beam transport lines from the main ring to three experimental areas.

In the spring of 1985, he traveled to Europe to indulge his passion for skiing, at a time, he points out, when it was cheaper to go to Switzerland than to Colorado. He fell in love with Europe and made a commitment to go back. That fall, he returned for a month with a backpack and a Eurorail pass. He had setup an interview at DESY in Germany and wound up with three different job offers. By the fall of that year, he was living there, working in SRF (superconducting radiofrequency) and having the time of his life. He worked 10- to 12-hour days and took many three-day weekends to ski the Alps. Jordan not only skis down mountains but climbs them as well, and conquered Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, while he was in Germany.

In the summer of 1986, Christoph Leemann, Ron Sundelin and Jock Fugitt toured the European SRF labs, including DESY. Jordan met them and was lured back to the U.S. for the building of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility.

He arrived at Jefferson Lab (then CEBAF) in May 1987, and worked as a technical associate in the SRF group. In 1990, he completed his bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and received his Professional Engineer certification in 1993. Three years later, he became the lead Electrical Engineer at the Free-Electron Laser where he and the EE team started developing a gas recovery system on the FEL injector gun.

The low-cost system saves the lab money and helps protect the environment by containing and recycling sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6, a potent greenhouse gas that is used to suppress arcing in high-voltage systems. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality recently recognized the effort with a Governor's Environmental Excellence Gold Award for 2011. (See story titled "FEL Team Earns State Environmental Award for Gas Recovery System" for information about the award.)

In addition to his work on containing SF6, Jordan has been instrumental in a project with NASA scientist Mike Smith to find better ways to synthesize boron-nitride nanotubes, work he began in 2001. He currently holds three patents for carbon nanotube synthesis work and has an additional 10 patents that are pending.

This time next year, Jordan will be even busier than usual. He's chairing the program committee for the 2012 Beam Instrumentation Workshop (BIW12), the 15th biennial meeting dedicated to exploring the physics and engineering challenges of beam diagnostic and measurement techniques for charged particle accelerators.

By Judi Tull
Feature writer

Warm Weather Brings Out Wildlife, Insects, Poison Ivy

With warm weather comes poison ivy, oak and sumac; spiders, wasps, ticks and snakes. Take appropriate precautions to avoid these hazards and seek treatment if you do get stung, bitten or develop a rash. Exposure to these hazards can cause health problems if left untreated. Pictured on the left is a black widow spider; pictured on the right is a brown recluse.

Jefferson Lab shares its grounds with an array of wild creatures, and recent construction has disturbed the natural habitat of many. Likewise, some of these critters can be disruptive to lab operations and dangerous if confronted – especially when they choose to enter indoor workspaces or undermine structures.

For example, groundhogs dig holes in accelerator shielding. Occasionally, snakes are seen near buildings. Stinging insects and spiders can be present indoors and out.

The Environment, Safety, Health and Quality Division and the Facilities Management and Logistics Department urge everyone to take precautions when working in areas that mimic or overlap the natural habitat of native creatures especially when working on the Accelerator Site during the spring and summer when many of these creatures are most active.

These precautions include:

  • Never reach into a dark area. Always fully illuminate the area and check for spiders, insects (and other pests), sharp objects, and other hazards;
  • Be extra careful around all pipes and under the gas-flow handles on gas-storage bottles and overhanging eaves on buildings – paper wasps are known to make nests in these locations;
  • Avoid and report areas where stinging insects or biting insects are present, such as bees and wasps, or biting flies and mosquitoes;
  • Be observant around asphalt, concrete slabs and wide metal pipes, which provide warm spots for snakes to sun themselves, and
  • Stay clear of tall grasses, water in ditches, and rotting wood, which can hide snakes and ticks and other potential hazards such as holes.
  • Never feed the wildlife, and be sure to dispose of leftover food items in waste containers that are emptied nightly.

If you should come across any wildlife in circumstances that cause you concern, alert Mike Lewellen at ext. 7169 or as soon as feasible and follow up by putting in a FM&L Work Request. Do not confront or corner wildlife – FM&L retains the services of a pest control company and can safely deal with your concern.

If you are stung or bitten, report to Occupational Medicine and then contact Lewellen to notify him of the location and conditions. Prompt medical care can help prevent infection and complications that could result in unnecessary pain and lost work time.

Likewise, native poison plants such as poison ivy and poison oak quickly grow in disturbed ground such as construction site. According to the Centers for Disease Control, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac release an oil, urushiol, when the leaf or other plant parts are bruised, damaged or burned. Skin exposure to urushiol in amounts equaling less than a grain of table salt can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in an itchy red rash with bumps or blisters in 80 to 90 percent of adults.

Although over-the-counter topical medications may relieve symptoms for most people, immediate medical attention may be required for severe reactions, particularly when exposed to the smoke from burning these poisonous plants (never burn these plants). When working in areas harboring poisonous plants, the CDC recommends avoiding the plants when possible, covering all exposed areas with clothing or barrier skin creams and thoroughly cleaning items that may have come into contact with poisonous plants. For more information, including pictures of the plants, visit the CDC's website at:

If you should come across poison ivy or poison oak growing in areas where it could come in contact with people, submit a FM&L Work Request and it will be sprayed.

Virginia Notes Uptick in Lyme Disease Cases
Over the last several years there has been an steady increase in the reported cases of Lyme disease in Virginia. It is important to remember that ticks become more active with warmer weather, increasing the risk of tick-borne disease. While several types of tick-borne disease are found in Virginia, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection reported.

Since 2000, Virginia has witnessed a steady increase in the number of Lyme disease cases. Most cases occur during the late spring and early summer with illness presentation in June, July and August. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include: fever, headache, fatigue, "bull's-eye" rash, muscle aches and stiff neck.

Lyme disease is preventable. Information about Lyme disease and how to reduce the risk of contracting it is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage, at: . According to the CDC, adhering to the following practices can decrease the risk of contracting this infection:

  • Protect yourself from tick bites,
  • Control the tick population in your environment,
  • Consult a doctor after a tick bit, and
  • Know the early signs of tick-borne illness.

The Virginia Department of Health also provides information on preventing tick bites and tick-borne illness at:

An informational brochure provided by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech is available at:

Don't Suffer Needless Back Pain: Plan, Carry Out Lifts and Moves Safely

A large portion of work place back pain is preventable and is caused or aggravated by inadequate planning, not requesting an ergonomics consultation when appropriate and not thinking about and using good technique before starting to lift or move an object. Occupational Medicine has a 30-minute DVD titled "Safe Lifting" that is loaned out for individual and group viewing.

Eighty percent of adults can expect to have at least one episode of severe back pain in their lives, according to Dr. W. Smith "Smitty" Chandler, JLab's Occupational Medicine director. For most people, the episode will be of short duration, but for a few it can become a long-term or chronic problem.

But, it doesn't have to be this way. A large portion of work place back pain is preventable and is caused or aggravated by inadequate planning, not requesting an ergonomics consultation when appropriate and not thinking about and using good technique before starting to lift or move an object, Dr. Chandler explains.

The Occupational Medicine staff is available to advise individuals and groups across the lab, regarding the ergonomic lifting and moving of equipment, tools and materials. They can provide ergonomic consultations for Jefferson Lab staff, users and subcontractors in industrial and office settings, and conduct about 50 each year. An industrial consultation can help workers ensure that they are setting up and using equipment in an ergonomically safe manner, and help them determine how to plan and carry out safe moves or lifts of objects in their work areas.

In addition, Occupational Medicine has developed an educational and informational 30-minute DVD titled "Safe Lifting" that may be loaned out for individual and group viewing. "Watching it is a good place to start," Dr. Chandler suggests.

In the video, he discusses many of the causes and predictors of back pain, and explains "torque" or the physics behind lifting and why this can cause back pain. He then addresses the process a worker should follow when planning work that involves lifting or moving heavy or unwieldy objects and the techniques to use to prevent back injury and pain.

Dr. Chandler's most important advice, "Think about the lift before you do it. Just before starting the lift, tighten your abs," he says. "This will stabilize your back and makes it more difficult to hurt your back."

He encourages individuals with a history of back problems to talk to him, be extra mindful of their body and work activities, be cautious in their work motions, and to habituate proper lifting technique and cautious work behaviors so they do it automatically. "If you feel irregular, let us know," he adds.

Understanding a little basic physic and following a few straightforward steps can prevent nearly all back strain and back injuries at work and at home, Dr. Chandler notes.

For more information about scheduling an ergonomics consultation or to sign out the Safe Lifting DVD, contact Johnie Banks, Occupational Medicine, ext 7539 or email .

Tips to Prevent Back Pain
Follow principles of ergonomics
Maximize your body's time in neutral positions
Minimize force/torque on your torso (including unnatural posture and repetitive movements)
Lift less weight (get help, reduce load weight)
Bend less; keep back as straight (up and down) as feasible
Use legs
Hold load as close to body as possible
Keep load off the floor: Raise the start and end positions of the load; keep load at stomach level
Evenly structure the load

Proper Lifting Steps
Face load
Place load next to body
Pre-tighten abdominal muscles (tightens back muscles and aligns spine)
Breathe normally during move; don't hold your breath
Rotate body by moving your feet; don't rotate your torso
Don't lean
End lift at waist level

Education Seeks Projects for Summer Honors Interns

Six outstanding high school students have been selected to participate in the lab's High School Summer Honors Program, which will be held at the lab from June 20 through July 29.  These students have a strong academic record and are excited to have the opportunity to dive in and learn about the lab's science and technology, according to Brita Hampton, Science Education administrator. The students are currently in the 10th and 11th grades and have expressed interest in pursuing scientific and technical careers.

Mentorship is a critical part of the learning experience for each high school student. Lab scientists, engineers and other technical managers who are interested in serving as a mentor to high-achieving high school students and have a project, or number of projects, to be accomplished this summer, are asked to send a description of the work to be assigned to Hampton, at: . Email or call her at ext. 7633 if you have questions. She needs your ideas or proposals by June 1.

The students will be required to develop a poster about their project and present it during a poster session on the last day of their program.

Students Use JLab Website to Prep For Virginia SOL Tests

Thousands of Virginia students are expected to flock to Jefferson Lab's Science Education website just as they have done each spring for the past several years as they prepare for the Virginia Standards of Learning tests.

Jefferson Lab recently received the 2010 SOL questions and responses from the Virginia Department of Education and has added them to the SOL archive on Jefferson Lab's website. New test categories added this year include (alphabetically) Algebra 1, Algebra II, Geometry, Math 8, Math 7, Math 6, Math 5, Math 4, Math 3, Science 5, and Science 3.

"The most frequently accessed pages on the website include the Virginia Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology Practice Tests and our 'Who Wants to Win $1 Million?' math and science quiz," says Steve Gagnon, Jefferson Lab Science Education technician and webmaster. (No money is involved.)

The Jefferson Lab education website includes questions from the recently released 2010 Virginia SOL tests, as well as test questions and answers going back to 2000.

"The SOL practice tests are a great resource for students, teachers, parents, or anyone interested in the information," Gagnon adds.

The website is set up so a person can request 5, 10, 20, or 40 random multiple-choice questions from a single category. Or if desired, the site allows teachers and students to bring up non-random sets of questions. If a teacher wants a class to review a series of specific subcategories, the teacher can have the students go to the website's SOL index page and make an assigned series of selections from the "options" offered. Then all of the students will go through the same fixed set of questions.

"This feature is very useful for classroom settings," Gagnon notes.

The interactive design of the website lets users select and submit their answer. They are immediately told if their response is right or wrong. Whether a correct or incorrect response is given, the answer page repeats the question and provides the correct answer.

"Use of this review tool climbs significantly as preparation for the annual testing period gets underway," Gagnon notes. "Use usually peaks in May with daily page hits running into the several millions."

While a significant number of students from across Virginia use these review tools to prepare for SOL tests, teachers and students from a number of other states also use these web-based resources to review for annual academic tests.

Visit the Jefferson Lab Education webpage for these and other games and activities ( ). To access the SOL practice tests or to play the $1 million math and science quiz, click on the Games & Puzzles icon.

Milestones for February - April 2011

Brian Agor, Financial Systems Manager, Chief Financial Officer
Mark Bear, Hall D Technician, Experimental Nuclear Physics Division
Jim Folkie, Superconducting Radiofrequency Chemistry Technician, Accelerator Division
Tina Mann, Hall D FDC Technician, Experimental Nuclear Physics Division
Damon Rath, Mechanical CAD Designer, Engineering Division
Tony Sessoms, Property Specialist, Facilities Management & Logistics
Joshua Thomason, Hall D Technician, Experimental Nuclear Physics Division

Scott Conrad, Facilities Management & Logistics
Cotton D'Artagnan, Accelerator Division
Mitchell Dunn, Information Technology Division
Thomas Elliott, Accelerator Division
L. Warren Funk, 12 GeV Upgrade Project, retired
Senika Grayer, Chief Operating Officer Division
Geoffrey Johnston, Accelerator Division
Adam Kimmel, Information Technology Division

These Milestone entries, listed alphabetically, are full-time, term, casual and student actions posted by Human Resources for February - April 2011.

Jefferson Lab is currently seeking qualified individuals for a range of positions. More than 30 student, technician, engineer and scientific employment opportunities are currently posted at: 

Alston Earns Welding Inspector Citation
Congratulations to Jenord Alston, Engineering Division, who has received the Dalton E. Hamilton Memorial Certified Welding Inspector of the Year citation for District 4, Tidewater Section of the American Welding Society. The award is to honor outstanding performance in the practice of welding inspection and qualifies Alston as a candidate for the national award.

In Memoriam
Linda..jpgLinda K. Carlton-Mercer
Linda K. (Jones) Carlton-Mercer 53, of Weirton, W.Va., and former staff member at JLab, passed away Feb. 27, after a long illness. She worked in the Physics Division and the Accelerator Division a number of years ago.

She is survived by her son, Josh Carlton; sister, Sarah Ingels; brothers, Kenny (Judy) Jones and David (Mary) Jones; sister-in-law Cindy Jones and brother-in-law Herb McNeely and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Melvin and Dolly Jones; brothers, Robert D. Jones, Charles Jones and sister, Nila McNeely.

The family received friends on March 3, followed by a graveside service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Josh Carlton, care of Turley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 488, New Cumberland, WV 26047.





Dr. William Bradford Tippens
Dr. William Bradford (Brad) Tippens passed away on March 15. Since 2000, Brad had served as the program manager for the Medium Energy Program in the Office of Nuclear Physics of the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

In 2000, he joined the Nuclear Physics Division in what was then the Office of High Energy and Nuclear Physics, where he assumed the position of program manager for the Medium Energy Program.

Among his many accomplishments were  the management of the 6 GeV research program and the developing 12 GeV program at Jefferson Lab, initiation of the program to measure the spin components of the proton at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and support of other important efforts including a Drell-Yan experiment and a neutrino oscillation experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, atom trapping development aimed towards an atomic electric dipole moment measurement, the physics program with the BLAST detector at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bates facility, and experiments at several European laboratories.

Within the DOE, he took on a number of additional responsibilities, including management of the Nuclear Physics Outstanding Junior Investigator program, serving as the point-of-contact for education matters for Nuclear Physics, and taking part in the early efforts to modernize electronic workflow within the Office of Science.

Tippens made his home near Columbia, Maryland. He is survived by his wife, Tabitha, and three sons, Jonathan, Nathaniel, and Daniel.



Engineering Division Professional Development Cryo Seminars Get Warm Response

On April 26, the Engineering Division completed its first Professional Development Program – a series of eight seminars on various aspects of cryogenics. One hundred forty-seven registered attendees participated in at least one of the seminars, and 126 of those individuals attended enough of the seminars to earn eight Continuing Education Units. Attendance at the series was also good for one Certification of Maintenance Point from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. In conjunction with the final seminar, the lecturers – all members of JLab's Cryogenics group – were recognized for their time and effort in developing the seminar lectures. Pictured, from left to right, are: Rao Ganni, cryo group deputy leader; Dana Arenius, cryo group leader; Peter Knudsen, Mathew Wright and Jonathan Creel.

Participants were asked to fill out an evaluation form for each seminar and feedback on the program was very positive for both the content and the speakers, according to Will Oren, Engineering Division associate director. He considers this program initiative important for the professional development of engineers at the lab. And the lab's newer engineering and technical staff gain a sense of the expertise in the division and around the lab, and better understand the formal and informal resource networks.

In keeping with the commitment for professional development, additional seminars that highlight the lab's engineering expertise are being planned for the future. Topics being considered include the engineering challenges related to superconducting magnets, power supplies, cryomodules, experimental targets, beam measurement and alignment, and safety systems.



Teachers Get Their Science On

One hundred sixty-two elementary and middle-school teachers interested in learning new and innovative methods for teaching the physical sciences attended the Annual Region II Teacher Night held April 20 at Jefferson Lab. Fifty-four  teachers who have participated in enrichment programs at JLab for teachers of science presented the activities and demonstrations. They shared their favorite or most-effective classroom activities. All of the teachers presenting activities or demos provided attendee teachers with handouts and many provided free starter supplies to accompany the handouts. The event is planned and hosted by JLab's Science Education staff
The On Target newsletter is published monthly by the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a nuclear physics research laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. Possible news items and ideas for future stories may be emailed to, or sent to the Jefferson Lab Public Affairs Office, Suite 15, 12000 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606