In April, Karol Lang was elected for a three-year term as the new co-spokesperson for MINOS+. Taking over for Fermilab’s Rob Plunkett, who remains on MINOS+, he joins University College London’s Jenny Thomas in leading the neutrino experiment.
A physics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Lang is a long-time MINOS collaborator. He joined the experiment in 1995, 10 years before it detected its first beam neutrino.
“I’ve pretty much been in as many roles as you can be in on an experiment, in both managing and scientific functions,” he said. “MINOS has always been my top priority.”
Now he will help lead 75 researchers in MINOS+. In this stage of the experiment, scientists will not only continue studying neutrino oscillations but will also look for new physics, using a higher-energy beam, in what is known as the exotic domain. They’ll seek out nonstandard interactions, hypothesized sterile neutrinos and large extra dimensions.
In addition to ensuring that MINOS+ runs smoothly well into the future, Lang is intent on helping the experiment’s 15 early-career physicists, students and postdocs, advance their research and establish themselves in the particle physics community.
“MINOS has always been very serious about caring for their needs, and we always support any of their reasonable requests,” he said. “They’re the ones doing the work, so we recognize and reward them as much as we can.”
MINOS+ co-spokesperson Jenny Thomas says that Lang’s experience and natural leadership make him the right person for the role.
“I am delighted that Karol will be taking on the role as co-spokesperson,” she said. “Karol has been an inspirational figure to the younger physicists and has worked tirelessly for the MINOS cause for many years.”
He’ll continue to support the cause, working to get as much physics out of the NuMI beam as nature allows.
“MINOS+ is a mature experiment, so it takes relatively less effort to get new results out. It is also necessary since our resources are limited,” Lang said. “It’s important that Fermilab continues to produce more physics with the experiments we’ve invested in.”