Research in the Energy, Cosmic and Intensity Frontiers and Theoretical Physics at Northwestern University

Project: Research project

Description

The Northwestern (NU) Particle Physics (PP) group is active in all DOE priority areas: Energy, Cosmic and Intensity Frontiers. The group is lead by 2 full profs. in experimental physics (Schmitt and Velasco), 2 full profs. in theoretical physics (de Gouvea and Petriello), 1 associate prof. in experimental physics (Figueroa), 1 associate prof. in theoretical physics (Low), and 2 assistant profs. in experimental physics (Dahl and Hahn). Low and Petriello hold joint appointments with the HEP Division at Argonne National Laboratory, while Dahl holds a joint appointment with Fermilab. NU has made a substantial investment in lab space and startup funds for the last three hires (Dahl, Figueroa and Hahn) in support of the PP program at NU.

Theoretical PP research at NU focuses on different aspects of PP phenomenology. de Gouvea dedicates a large fraction of his research effort to understanding the origin of neutrino masses, neutrino properties and uncovering other new phenomena, and investigating connections between neutrino physics and other aspects of PP. Low focuses on physics related to the LHC, with the goal of searching for and determining possible new physics at the TeV scale. He uses the Higgs boson as a discovery tool and investigates collider phenomenology of extensions of the Standard Model. Petriello pursues a research program in precision QCD and its associated collider phenomenology. The main goal of this effort is to improve the Standard Model predictions for important LHC observables in order to enable discoveries of new physics.

In recent years, the emphasis in experimental PP at NU has been on collider physics. With this proposal, NU expands its efforts in new directions in both the Intensity and the Cosmic Frontiers.

In the Intensity Frontier, Schmitt and Velasco have started a new effort on Mu2e. They were accepted as collaborators in April 2015 and are identified with important projects.

In the Energy Frontier, Hahn, Schmitt and Velasco continue to have a significant impact. They expanded their CMS program to include R&D for the L1 tracking trigger and the high granularity calorimeter (HGC) needed for the high-luminosity LHC. Hahn has been support by DOE for a year, and joins this grant now. The analysis effort includes SM physics but emphasizes searches for forbidden decays of the Higgs and Z bosons, top quark and for dark matter. Four students completed their PhD: Kubik working at the Cosmic F., Pollack at the Intenstity F. and Pozdnyakov will continue at the Energy F. All research scientists, Anastassov, Ofierzynski and Stoynev, have new positions. The new post-docs are Travato from Scuola Normale, Low from U. Florida and Bhattacharya from Brown. Sung previously at MIT, was also added with Hahn's support.

In the Cosmic Frontier, Dahl and Figueroa are leading figures in the two US flagship G2 dark matter experiments: LZ and SuperCDMS, respectively. Dahl works on direct detection using bubble chambers and liquid xenon TPCs. Figueroa led several of the key analyses from the CDMS II and SuperCDMS experiments and developed the detector simulation and designing the lithographic masks for the phonon detectors of SuperCDMS. The group is playing a leading role in the integration of SuperCDMS SNOLAB exp. at Fermilab, as well as working on R&D for future G3 exp.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date5/1/164/30/19

Funding

  • Department of Energy (DE-SC0015910-0002)

Fingerprint

theoretical physics
physics
energy
phenomenology
neutrinos
Higgs bosons
dark matter
bubble chambers
detectors