Calvin R. Howell

Calvin R. Howell

Professor of Physics

Office Location: 
221 Dfell, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90308, Durham, NC 27708-0308
(919) 660-2632


Professor Howell’s research is in the area of experimental nuclear physics with emphasis on the quantum chromodynamics (QCD) description of low-energy nuclear phenomena, including structure properties of nucleons and nuclei and reaction dynamics in few-nucleon systems.   The macroscopic properties of nucleon structure and the residual strong nuclear force between neutrons and protons in nuclei emerge from QCD at distances where the color interactions between quarks and gluons are strong.  However, the details of the mechanisms that generate the strong nuclear force are not well understood.   Effective field theories (EFT) and Lattice QCD calculations provide theoretical frames that connect low-energy nuclear phenomena to QCD.  Professor Howell and collaborators are conducting experiments on few-nucleon systems that test predictions of ab-initio theory calculations for the purpose of providing insight about the QCD descriptions of low-energy nucleon interactions and structure.  His current projects include measurements of the electromagnetic and spin-dependent structure properties of nucleons via Compton scattering on the proton and few-nucleon systems and studies of two- and three-nucleon interactions using few-nucleon reactions induced by photons and neutrons.  In the coming years, a focus will be on investigating the neutron-neutron interaction in reactions and inside nuclei.  In addition, his work includes applications of nuclear physics to national nuclear security, medical isotope production, and plant biology. Most of his research is carried out at the High Intensity Gamma-ray Source and the tandem laboratory at TUNL. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1984

Trotter, D. E. G., et al. “Neutron detection efficiency determinations for the TUNL neutron-neutron and neutron-proton scattering-length measurements.” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, vol. 599, no. 2–3, Feb. 2009, pp. 234–42. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.nima.2008.10.036. Full Text

Laveissière, G., et al. “Virtual Compton scattering and neutral pion electroproduction in the resonance region up to the deep inelastic region at backward angles.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 79, no. 1, Jan. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.79.015201. Full Text

Bowman, C. D., et al. “Neutrons from a proton-driven deuterium target as a possible competitor to spallation for nuclear energy applications.” Nuclear Science and Engineering, vol. 161, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 119–24. Scopus, doi:10.13182/NSE161-119. Full Text

Bowman, C. D., et al. “Reducing parasitic thermal neutron absorption in graphite reactors by 30%.” Nuclear Science and Engineering, vol. 161, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 68–77. Scopus, doi:10.13182/NSE161-68. Full Text

Elhami, E., et al. “Experimental study of the low-lying structure of Zr94 with the (n,n'γ) reaction.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 78, no. 6, Dec. 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.78.064303. Full Text

Kiser, Matthew R., et al. “Exploring the transport of plant metabolites using positron emitting radiotracers.Hfsp Journal, vol. 2, no. 4, Aug. 2008, pp. 189–204. Epmc, doi:10.2976/1.2921207. Full Text

Stave, S., et al. “Cross section measurements of the B10(d,n0)C11 reaction below 160 keV.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 77, no. 5, May 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.77.054607. Full Text

Tonchev, A. P., et al. “Measurement of the Am241(n,2n) reaction cross section from 7.6 MeV to 14.5 MeV.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 77, no. 5, May 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.77.054610. Full Text

Chen, Q., et al. “Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length using the π-d capture reaction.” Physical Review C  Nuclear Physics, vol. 77, no. 5, May 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.77.054002. Full Text

Kapadia, A. J., et al. “Experimental detection of iron overload in liver through neutron stimulated emission spectroscopy.Phys Med Biol, vol. 53, no. 10, May 2008, pp. 2633–49. Pubmed, doi:10.1088/0031-9155/53/10/013. Full Text