Faculty Sponsor: Michelle Kuchera
Local and global optimization methods were evaluated for fitting spiral tracks in the Active-Target Time Projection Chamber (AT-TPC) at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University. The NSCL is capable of producing beams of rare isotopes for national and international researchers to study nuclei at the limits of existence. The AT-TPC is a gas-filled chamber that acts as both the target and the detector during nuclear reactions. Using this, we can reconstruct three-dimensional spatial tracks of the reaction products. Track-fitting methods were tested on data from the 40Ar and 46Ar experiments that ran in 2015. We aim to improve on the current fitting method in the analysis software, the naive Monte Carlo algorithm. Various optimization methods were tested, with notable success using global optimization methods, specifically, differential evolution and basin hopping. Results will be presented that compare the accuracy, robustness to noise, and time efficiency of each method.