Department of Physics & Astronomy

High Energy Particle Physics


Prof. Robert Clare, Prof. John Ellison, Prof. Bill Gary, Distinguished Prof. Gail Hanson, Research Physicist Ann Heinson, Prof. Owen Long, Prof. Stephen Wimpenny

Prof. Ernest Ma, Prof. José Wudka, Asst. Prof. Hai-Bo Yu

Experimental Program

 The main focus of our experimental research is at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), near Geneva, Switzerland. We also have ongoing analysis connected to experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located about 45 miles west of Chicago, Illinois and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California.

Aerial View of Large Hadron Collider Site

The LHC is the world's highest energy collider and it is probing physics and processes in a completely new energy regime. Early research focusses on the search for the Higgs  boson and the search for evidence of new types of particle production. The machine began operation at 7 TeV center-of-mass energy during 2010 and 2011 and is currently operating at 8 TeV. During 2013 and 2014 the machine will be upgraded to allow it to run at the higher energy of 13 TeV.

Schematic of CMS Detector Photo of Central Section of CMS Detector  

The UCR experimental group, consisting of Professors Clare, Ellison, Gary, Hanson, Long and Wimpenny are members of the Compact Muon Solenoid Collaboration (CMS), which is one of the two large multi-purpose experiments at the LHC. The UCR group currently has 4 postdoctoral researchers and 10 graduate students working on CMS.

On campus our facilities include a clean room used for silicon module testing and a mid-sized Tier 3 computing cluster (320 CPUs and 170 TBytes of disk storage) connected to the Open Science Grid (OSG). The OSG is the backbone of LHC computing in the US and is a part of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG).

Our data analysis interests include Higgs physics, searches for Supersymmetry and other new phenomena, and precision Top Quark measurements. On the hardware side, we are working on the CMS central silicon tracker, the hadron calorimeter and the endcap muon spectrometers.

We also have ongoing research connected to the data taken by the D0 Collaboration at Fermilab and the BaBar Collaboration at SLAC. This focuses of the study of CP violation and rare B decays (BaBar) and top quark physics (D0).
Event Display of a Higgs Digamma Candidate

Professor Gary is also active in Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) research and is a member of the CTEQ Collaboration.

Professor Hanson is a member of the Neutrino Factory and Muon Collider Collaboration, which is carrying out a program of research and development towards a future muon-antimuon collider or a muon storage ring to produce an intense neutrino beam from the decays of the muons.


Theoretical Program

The field of theoretical high-energy physics has progressed enormously during the last 40 years. We have an extremely accurate theory, the Standard Model, that explains all current data. There are arguments, however, indicating that it is not the most fundamental description of nature. The UCR theory group studies modifications and extensions of the Standard Model in the hope of providing a yet more fundamental description of nature.

Among many possible extensions of the Standard Model, supersymmetry plays a prominent role in explaining some of the parts of the theory and in providing many new and exciting predictions that can be tested Fermilab and CERN. Ma has studied several of these models as well as many aspects of neutrino physics.

Given that the Standard Model is believed to be a manifestation of a more fundamental theory, one might ask whether it is possible to probe this new theory through existing data. A consistent way of implementing this approach is based on an effective Lagrangian formalism under investigation by Wudka. He is also studying the neutrino physics and its connection with baryogenesis. The recently discovered Higgs boson opens up other interesting issues connected to the determination of which Higgs particle it actually is. Wudka is also studying physics in more than 4 dimensions. In this framework the Higgs is a higher-dimensional partner of W and Z-like particles.

More Information

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Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Physics & Astronomy
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Main Office Tel: (951) 827-5331
Main Office Fax: (951) 827-4529
Maynard, Bonnie; Chair's Assistant, Academic Personnel
E-mail: bonnie.maynard@ucr.edu