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

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Braun, R. T., et al. “Neutron-proton analyzing power at 12 MeV and inconsistencies in parametrizations of nucleon-nucleon data.” Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High Energy Physics, vol. 660, no. 3, Feb. 2008, pp. 161–66. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2007.12.039. Full Text

Kapadia, A. J., et al. “Neutron stimulated emission computed tomography for diagnosis of breast cancer.” Ieee Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 55, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 501–09. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TNS.2007.909847. Full Text

Mikhailov, S. F., et al. “Commissioning of the booster injector synchrotron for the HIGS facility at Duke University.” Proceedings of the Ieee Particle Accelerator Conference, Dec. 2007, pp. 1209–11. Scopus, doi:10.1109/PAC.2007.4441032. Full Text

Sharma, A. C., et al. “Elemental spectrum of a mouse obtained via neutron stimulation.” Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging  Proceedings of Spie, vol. 6510, no. PART 1, Oct. 2007. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.713731. Full Text

Olcott, Peter D., et al. “Performance Characterization of a Miniature, High Sensitivity Gamma Ray Camera.” Ieee Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 54, no. 5, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Oct. 2007, pp. 1492–97. Crossref, doi:10.1109/tns.2007.902367. Full Text

Sharma, A. C., et al. “Design and development of a high-energy gamma camera for use with NSECT imaging: Feasibility for breast imaging.” Ieee Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 54, no. 5, Oct. 2007, pp. 1498–505. Scopus, doi:10.1109/TNS.2007.906058. Full Text

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Muzichka, A. Y., et al. “Background determination for the neutron-neutron scattering experiment at the reactor YAGUAR.” Nuclear Physics A, vol. 789, no. 1–4, June 2007, pp. 30–45. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2007.03.163. Full Text

Danagoulian, A., et al. “Compton-scattering cross section on the proton at high momentum transfer.Physical Review Letters, vol. 98, no. 15, Apr. 2007, p. 152001. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.98.152001. Full Text