Research In Experimental Particle Physics

I am an Experimental Particle Physicist. My research is conducted at the world’s highest energy particle accelerators. By smashing beams of ultra-energetic subatomic particles allows physicists like me to recreate the conditions of the universe less than a nano-second after the Big Bang. From these intense collisions and the resulting subatomic debris, I study the very fundamental particles and their interactions that formed our universe.

My current research is in searches for new fundamental particles and interactions with the CMS detector at CERN. CMS is one of the two general purpose particle physics detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Tthe LHC is the highest energy particle smasher on Earth. We recently found the Higgs boson here. During the formative years of the hunt (2010-11) I was the coordinator of the Higgs search group of the 3000 strong CMS collaboration. You can watch my talk on the hunt for the Higgs in the Frontiers of Knowledge lecture series celebrating the 50th anniversary of UCSD. My interview on the Higgs hunt with UCSD TV producer Rich Wargo is here.

My prior research work was in Heavy Quark Physics and searches for violation of discrete symmetries in nature. My group played a leading role in the first observation of Matter-Antimatter asymmetry (CP Violation) in B meson system. This measurement was performed with the BaBar detector at SLAC's PEP-II collider. My Ph.D student, Shahram Rahatlou won American Physical Society's 2004 M. Tanaka award for best Ph.D Thesis dissertation on this topic. This key experimental observation led to the 2008 Nobel prize in physics to Japanese theorists Nambu, Kobyashi and Maskawa whose work predicted such an asymmetry.

Before coming to UCSD, I worked with the ALEPH detector at CERN. Most of my work here was on searches for new sub-atomic particles and interactions, Electroweak Physics and the physics of the b quark. I discovered the B_s meson and the Lambda_b baryon here.