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PNW professor among 400 researchers recognized for particle discovery

Purdue University Northwest Professor Neeti Parashar, left, at the CERN research laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, with PNW post-doctoral research associate Tongguang Cheng.

HAMMOND — Purdue University Northwest Professor Neeti Parashar was recently named among 400 top scientific researchers as a 2019 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize recipient.

The award, given by the European Physical Society, recognized two research collaborations of scientists, according to a PNW news release.

Parashar has been a member of the honored D0 collaboration of researchers since 2006. The team is based out of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, where researchers use a particle accelerator to study particle properties.

The team was recognized on July 15 in Ghent, Belgium, for its discovery and measurements of a top quark, a type of particle.

"To discover and subsequently make detailed studies of these fundamental particles, you need the right operating conditions of the accelerator," Parashar said in the news release. "While the top quark was discovered in 1995, the challenge has been to study all of its properties."

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As a physics professor at PNW, Parashar teaches in the Chemistry and Physics Department of the university's College of Engineering and Sciences. She also founded and leads PNW's high-energy physics program and was a part of the research team that discovered the Higgs boson, commonly known as "The God Particle."

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Peter Higgs, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and Francois Englert, of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, were awarded the 2013 Noble Prize in physics for their predictions of the Higgs boson's existence.

Pasahar regularly leads undergraduate trips to the Fermilab in Batavia and to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in Geneva, Switerland, to conduct experiments and subatomic research.

"We at PNW are on the global map of scientific discoveries," Parashar said in the release. "Purdue Northwest is the only institution in Northwest Indiana with full membership to these world-renowned research labs, and the recipient of peer reviewed, merit-based federal funding from the National Science Foundation to conduct this research."

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