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    Department of Physics Graduate Program - 103-33 - Pasadena - California - 91125

    Experimental High Energy Physics

BABAR is an experiment at the PEP-II Asymmetric B Factory at SLAC, the premier facility for the study of heavy quark and heavy lepton physics. In the summer of 2001, BABAR published the first measurement of a CP-violating asymmetry in B meson decay, providing a new, uniquely sensitive test of the Standard Model of elementary particle physics. Ongoing detailed studies of heavy quark decays provide perhaps the best short term opportunity to unearth effects indicative of physics beyond the Standard Model. Information about BABAR can be found at Studies are also beginning towards SuperB, a next generation experiment with substantially improved capabilities. There are openings for graduate students for thesis research, as well as for undergraduates for part term research projects during the academic year or the summer. For more information, contact Professor David Hitlin at or Professor Frank Porter
CMS - (Compact Muon Solenoid) is one of the two major experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (the LHC) in Geneva, designed and constructed to discover the Higgs boson and supersymmetry, and elucidate the nature of electroweak symmetry breaking and dark matter in the universe. With CMS we study proton-proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 7 Tev, going to 14 TeV within the next few years. The leap in energy, the high intensity of the LHC and CMS' ability to cleanly identify and precisely measure photons, electrons and muons, along with jets and missing transverse energy, are expected to lead to a new round of discoveries on the nature of matter and the fundamental interactions. The LHC restart in 2009-10 was remarkably successful in producing a wide range of results bearing on the Standard Model in a new energy range, as well as searches for many new phenomena ranging from the Higgs particles thought to be responsible for mass in the universe, to supersymmetry, subconstituents of quarks and leptons, and other exotic phenomena such as evidence for extra spatial dimensions. The 2011-12 run which is now underway is expected to greatly extend the reach for physics discoveries, including the possible first evidence for the Higgs particles in the mass range favored by precision measurements of electroweak phenomena and direct searches at lower energies, or Supersymmetry (SUSY).

Caltech leads the search for the Higgs using the distinctive decays to two photons and Z or W pairs, and the search for Supersymmetry using a newly developed most effective approach to extract the SUSY or other heavy pair produced signals in purely hadronic states. The group is active in several searches for new physics processes including TeV-scale gravity in Randall-Sundrum models, excited leptons and Z-primes. It is leading the preparation of a comprehensive program to explore and distinguish new physics scenarios as the anticipated signs of new physics signals emerge. Graduate students in the group, as well as undergraduates working part time, are active in data analysis as well as in the preparation, calibration and commissioning of the detector, with a focus on the precision electromagnetic calorimeter and hadron calorimeter, as well as the development and deployment of the trigger menus as a function of the increasing instantaneous luminosity. Students will participate in the data taking, calorimeter detector operations and monitoring as well as trigger and dataset development as the luminosity (and energy after the 2012 run) of the LHC rises.

The group works closely with theorists an phenomenologists in several areas, and it also includes several teams of engineers and physicists who are known for their leading roles and operations in crystal scintillators, grid computing, networking and global scale collaborative systems. Information about CMS and the LHC can be found at and For more information on research opportunities with the CMS group, contact Professor Harvey Newman at and Professor Maria Spiropulu
NOvA - is investigating fundamental questions about the neutrino sector and the Standard Model more broadly. A high-intensity beam of neutrinos, produced at FNAL, is directed toward NOvA's massive 14-kiloton "far" detector located in northern Minnesota. (A smaller "near" detector is located on-site at FNAL.) Imprinted on the neutrinos after this 810-km journey is information on neutrino masses, weak mixing, leptonic CP violation, and beyond-the-Standard-Model phenomena such as CPT violation, non-standard interactions, and sterile states. The Caltech group has leading roles in the design of NOvA's novel detectors and in their assembly, commissioning, and calibration. We are also central in the on-going development of analyses that will provide NOvA's tremendous physics reach. A new graduate student would be active in any and all aspects of the experiment, from construction to data taking to analysis, and the timing of NOvA is ideal for a student joining in 2013 or 2014. Detector construction is underway and data taking will begin this year. More information about the group including our other activities can be found at For information on research opportunities with the group, contact Professor Ryan Patterson at

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March 2013