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Experimental Particle Physics at LEPP


A view of the CMS detector (courtesy of CERN).

Cornell’s particle physicists are deeply engaged in the science of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The LHC, is the first explore the TeV energy scale, where the Standard Model of particle physics breaks and new phenomena are expected to appear.

Cornell is a member of CMS, one of the two principle detectors for particle physics at the LHC. In the first year of data-taking, 2010, both the LHC and the CMS detector performed beyond expectations -- as did the other detectors on the LHC ring. This success set the stage for 2011-2012 when we expect to collect and analyze a large amount of data. The long-awaited opportunity to discover new physics, possibly dramatic new physics, at the TeV scale is finally at hand. Supersymmetry? Extra dimensions? New forces? Dark matter? Black holes? We will see!

Our group is involved in a broad set of physics studies. In the area of New Physics, we have searches for new gauge bosons, searches for supersymmetry, and the development of tools to measure the mass and perhaps the spins and couplings of new particles if they are found. In the area of Standard Model physics, we have programs to measure top quark and gauge boson (W) properties. We also have responsibilities for aspects of the pixel detector, the electromagnetic calorimeter, the trigger, and the data handling and analysis software. In the background we are carrying out physics studies and developing hardware future upgrades of the pixels and the trigger.


ILC detector development.

Cornell experimentalists also work on the future International Linear Collider or ILC. Taking advantage of the precision available to electron colliders, the ILC will zero in on the phenomena discovered at the LHC, ruling out some possible explanations, and bolstering others. We collaborate with the Cornell ILC accelerator group and are developing several ILC detector technologies.

For thirty years Cornell has hosted the CLEO collaboration, a 120-person operation utilizing the state-of-the-art CLEO detector at the CESR storage ring storage ring. CESR has produced a copious and pristine sample of charm quarks that is answering important questions about weak and strong interactions and testing new lattice QCD calculations. CLEO data-taking ended in 2008, and final data analyses are winding up in 2011-2012.

There is a close coupling between Cornell’s particle experimentalists and particle theory group. This leads to lively interactions, discussion and collaboration at all levels, faculty, post-docs and graduate students.

The Cornell CMS group.