High Energy Physics Group Receives $1.76 Million DOE Grant

The High Energy Physics group received $1.761M DOE grant to conduct research on a wide range of elementary particle interactions. The group consists of three theorists, Dr. Babu, Dr. Goncalves and Dr. Ismail, and three experimentalists, Dr. Haley, Dr. Khanov and Dr. Rizatdinova. We would like to congratulate our young colleagues Dr. Gocalves and Dr. Ismail with their very first funding they received less than in a year after joining our Department.

The theory group will explore the connections between the Higgs boson and key puzzles in particle physics: the matter-antimatter asymmetry, the hierarchy problem, the scale of new physics, and the shape of the Higgs potential. The group will also study various aspects of neutrino physics, including non-standard neutrino interactions and neutrino mass generation mechanisms. The group will develop novel probes of the neutrino sector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and investigate the prospects of searching for dark matter candidates using neutrino detectors. Finally, the group will study new physics scenarios that lie beyond the Standard Model and explore proton decay in the context of Grand Unified Theories. Drs Babu, Goncalves and Ismail will be able to support graduate students involved in the program

The experimental group (Haley, Khanov and Rizatdinova) will continue to contribute to the ATLAS experiment at LHC. The group will support two postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Angela Burger and Dr. Josu Cantero; and graduate students heavily involved in the research.  They will focus on probing a variety of scenarios for physics beyond the Standard Model. Members of the group will search for gluinos decaying to stop and top quarks, new heavy gauge bosons W' decaying to top and bottom quarks, new heavy scalar particles, long-lived particles, and vector-like quarks. They will also perform measurements of top quark pair production cross section in association with heavy flavor jets and boosted top quark polarization. In terms of hardware, the group will design, test, and deliver parts of the new ATLAS pixel detector that is vital for the high-luminosity LHC ATLAS operation. Members of the group will continue to lead optimization studies for the future ATLAS Inner Tracker, as well as to contribute to the jet energy scale and heavy flavor jet tagging calibrations, which are required by many ATLAS searches for new physics.