The Experimental Particle Physics group concentrates its efforts on the following three activities: DØ, CMS, and the Pierre Auger Observatory.
The CMS detector recently began operations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is currently colliding protons at 8 TeV, the highest energy available in the world, and is scheduled to run at 13 TeV starting in 2014. At Northeastern we are supporting the end cap muon detector and the electromagnetic detector, are studying the newly-found Higgs boson, and are searching for leptoquarks (exotic particles with properties of both leptons and quarks), massive new gauge bosons (Stueckelberg Z-primes), and looking for other new physics. Post-doctoral fellow Dr Andrea Massironi works on the project at CERN.
The DØ detector in the Tevatron collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois measures the products of 2 TeV head-on collisions of protons and antiprotons. The large data set at D0 is used for the study of such massive particles as the top quark and for searches for new heavy states like the Higgs boson. At Northeastern we continue to mine this trove of data for new physics.
The Pierre Auger Observatory makes use of the one accelerator bigger than either the Tevatron or the LHC-the one that gives us cosmic rays from intergalactic space. Currently taking data with a fully instrumented detector covering 3000 square kilometers in Argentina, the PAO observes the showers of particles coming from ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. Northeastern is providing the overall software infrastructure for data analysis and is participating in several research projects, including searches for exotic particles produced at extremely high energies. Research personnel: Dr Thomas Paul, Prof. John Swain.