High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (2023)

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High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (1)

Image Credit: CERN, Sam Hertzog, December 2020

The experimental particle physics group at UVA is currently making major contributions to the CMS, NOvA, Mu2e, and LDMX experiments:

(Video) Master | Physics and Astronomy (Joint Degree) - track Advanced Matter and Energy Physics | UvA


High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (2)The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment is one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland and France. The goal of CMS experiment is to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter . The CMS group (Cox, Hirosky, Neu) has a wide range of physics interests, including Higgs boson and top quark studies, standard model measurements, and searches for supersymmetric particles and other exotic forms of matter. Our detector efforts have focused on the CMS electromagnetic and hadronic calorimeters and we are currently leading upgrade efforts for the CMS calorimeters and for a new dedicated precision timing detector for charged particle tracks in the High-Luminosity LHC era.


High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (3)The NOvA (NuMI Off-axis ν Appearance) experiment is shedding light on one of nature's most elusive particles: neutrinos. Since the late 1990s, physicists have known that neutrinos exhibit a quantum mechanical behavior called oscillations. But this behavior is not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. NOvA is working to better understand these strange particles through precision measurements of their oscillation properties. The UVA group lead the effort to design and fabricate the NOvA Power Distribution System and is actively involved in physics analysis for this ongoing and world-leading neutrino experiment.


High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (4)The Mu2e experiment will search for new physics through lepton-number violation: that is, muons decaying into electrons without any associated neutrinos. This is an example of a relatively low-energy experiment probing energy scales unattainable by any existing or proposed accelerator-based collider experiment. UVA leads the effort to design and fabricate one of the three main detectors for Mu2e, the Cosmic Ray Veto. The ongoing fabrication is one of the largest undertakings ever by the High Energy Physics group at UVA.


High Energy Physics - UVa Physics (5)The constituents of dark matter are unknown, and the viable possibilities span a very large mass range. The region ~MeV to ~GeV is largely unexplored. If there is an interaction between this "light" dark matter and ordinary matter, then there necessarily is a production mechanism in accelerator-based experiments. The most sensitive way to search for this production is to use a primary electron beam to produce dark matter in fixed-target collisions. The Light Dark Matter eXperiment (LDMX) is a proposed experiment that has sensitivity to light DM in the sub-GeV range. In addition to the exciting possibility to detect and study the dark sector, the UVA group is interested in fabricating the hadronic veto calorimeter which plans to use a very similar technology as the Mu2e CRV which is currently being fabricated at UVA.

The Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics group acknowledges that the fundamental task of physics is to learn the rules of the basic interactions governing the behavior of matter and to search for new laws when present knowledge fails to answer the remaining mysteries of the observable universe. At the foundation of modern theories of particle physics is a deep and beautiful symmetry principle: the invariance of physical laws under symmetry transformations at every space-time point. Theories that show this symmetry are known as Yang-Mills or Gauge Theories. The Standard Model of Strong, Electromagnetic and Weak interactions is the most successful of these theories. It describes all known interactions of matter except gravity.
The Electroweak part of the Standard Model is being tested to a high degree of precision. The Strong interaction part, the Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) Theory, which describes the interactions among the quarks, is being closely scrutinized, both perturbatively and nonperturbatively. The Standard Model is incomplete, however, since a number of fundamental puzzles, such as CP violation and the origin of masses, remain unsolved. The solutions to these problems probably lie outside the framework of the Standard Model. How does one solve the problem of masses? How does one solve QCD? These are among the topics under active investigation by UVa HEP theorists Hung and Thacker.


Ph.D., 1986, Stanford

Prof. Arnold studies the theory of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions at extremely high, relativistic temperatures, such as in the very early Universe (less than a millionth of a second after the Big Bang) or in relativistic collisions in heavy ion accelerators. Topics he has studied include investigating why there is significantly more matter than anti-matter in the Universe and understanding the properties of quark-gluon plasmas. The theoretical methods used for these very high energy problems (as much as a quadrillion degrees Kelvin) can also be applied to certain ... More>

(Video) Physics and Astronomy: Gravitation, Astro-, and Particle Physics | University of Amsterdam

Ph.D., 1984, Michigan

Professor Dukes’ research is in experimental Elementary Particle Physics where he has worked on experiments at several major accelerator laboratories in the world, and held visiting positions at: Brookhaven National Laboratory, CERN Lab in Geneva, Switzerland, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the SSC. He is currently the head of the Frontier Physics Group at the University of Virginia. More>

Ph.D., 2006, Florida

What are the most fundamental pieces of our Universe? What are their properties and how do they interact with each other to form the structure and the phenomena that we observe? More>

Ph.D., 2014, Heidelberg University

(Video) Master | Physics and Astronomy: Advanced Matter and Energy Physics (track) | University of Amsterdam

The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics is a remarkably successful description of nature at the most fundamental level and has been completed in 2012 with the discovery of the Brout-Englert-Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. There are, however, several empirical issues that prove the incompleteness of the SM, including More>

Ph.D., 1994, Rochester

Professor Hirosky’s current research explores questions in Elementary Particle Physics at the CERN LHC Collider in Geneva Switzerland. The goals of performing research at the energy frontier are many-fold. While the Standard Model has survived a wide variety of experimental tests, numerous fundamental questions remain: Does Nature yet hold undiscovered symmetries and physical laws? Are there hidden dimensions of space-time? The universe appears to contain vast quantities of gravitational mass of unknown origin, what is the nature of this dark matter? What happened to the ... More>

Ph.D., 1978, UCLA

Elementary particle physics has been crowned with spectacular successes in this last quarter of the past century. The cornerstone of such a success is the Standard Model of Elementary Particles which has been tested to a high level of precision. The Standard Model (SM), however, is incomplete. It cannot predict the number of "families". (Experimentally, one knows that there at least three families.) It cannot predict the electroweak mixing angle which is measured to a high level of accuracy. One does not know the origin of the masses of the constituents of matter: the quarks and ... More>

Ph.D., 2010, Ohio University

Professor Keller conducts research in spin physics at the intersection of high-energy, nuclear, and condensed matter physics, with interests in hadron spin structure, physics beyond the standard model, spin-sensitive phenomena, and mapping the inner structure of composite spin systems. This research involves the study of quark and gluon dynamics as well as the study of spin degrees of freedom to probe polarized observables. This research could also be ... More>

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Ph.D., 2003, Ohio State

Prof. Neu's research program focuses on the building blocks of the Universe and how those building blocks interact. He studies exotic forms of matter produced at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN as a collaborator on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment.

His specific interests focus on the characterization of the Higgs boson. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has solved a significant open question in modern physics: How do the fundamental particles obtain mass? The discovery of ... More>

Ph.D., 2001, SUNY, Stony Brook

(Video) Master | Physics and Astronomy (Joint Degree) - track Gravitation and AstroParticle Physics | UvA

My research in theoretical particle physics is based on string theory, and I am especially interested in the connections between gauge and string theories. More>


What comes under high energy physics? ›

The research effort of the high energy theory group covers a wide range of fields, including quantum field theory, string theory, quantum gravity models in various dimensions, the theory of turbulence, particle cosmology, phenomenology of the Standard Model and beyond, and also computer simulations of problems that ...

Is high energy physics the same as particle physics? ›

The goal of high energy physics (also known as particle physics) is to determine the most fundamental building blocks of matter and to understand the interactions between these particles.

Why is it called high energy physics? ›

High Energy Physics deals with the question of what the electrons, protons and neutrons are made of. It is called "high energy" because experimentally one needs very high energy probes to try to take these "elementary particles" apart.

Does UVA have a particle accelerator? ›

A circular particle accelerator that is nearly eight feet in diameter and weighs over 50,000 pounds, the cyclotron allows UVA scientists to locally manufacture radioactive elements, which are critical in pinpointing areas of disease.

Is high energy physics a good choice? ›

I found the people who do theoretical high energy physics are the best one able to describe physics and explain it at all levels, otherwise my choices are neutral. It is all well and good to go to graduate school and get a high level degree that will open up possibilities of work in industry and industrial research.

What do high energy physicists do? ›

High Energy Physics (HEP) explores what the world is made of and how it works at the smallest and largest scales, seeking new discoveries from the tiniest particles to the outer reaches of space.

What branch of physics is high energy physics? ›

Particle physics or high energy physics is the study of fundamental particles and forces that constitute matter and radiation. The fundamental particles in the universe are classified in the Standard Model as fermions (matter particles) and bosons (force-carrying particles).

Is high energy physics nuclear physics? ›

High-energy nuclear physics studies the behavior of nuclear matter in energy regimes typical of high-energy physics. The primary focus of this field is the study of heavy-ion collisions, as compared to lighter atoms in other particle accelerators.

What is a high energy theoretical physicist? ›

Fine Theoretical Physics Institute

The High Energy Theorists focus on understanding the fundamental forces of nature and cosmology. The unification of the electromagnetic and weak nuclear force is well understood and is continually being tested experimentally.

Is quantum field theory high energy physics? ›

Relativistic quantum field theory is the basic language of high energy physics. Some aspects of quantum field theory are perturbative—that is, they can be understood in terms of Feynman diagrams.

Why high-energy is important? ›

Thus having high energy means you can make high-mass particles. Indeed, until the Tevatron began operations, it was impossible to make top quarks, which have a good deal of mass, in a laboratory. The higher energy available at the LHC means that researchers have the ability to make even higher-mass particles.

What is low energy vs high-energy? ›

People who score high on Energy are energetic, animated and enthusiastic. They are gregarious, competitive, fun-loving and sociable. They are more comfortable with new people, places and experiences. People who score low on Energy are quieter, more reserved and private.

Which universities have a particle accelerator? ›

Electron and low intensity hadron accelerators
AcceleratorLocationAccelerated particle
Antiproton DeceleratorCERNProtons and antiprotons
Low Energy Antiproton RingCERNAntiprotons
Cambridge Electron AcceleratorHarvard University and MIT, Cambridge, MAElectrons
SLAC LinacSLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryElectron/ Positron
15 more rows

Does MIT have a particle accelerator? ›

MIT Facilities

This center has a staff of approx. 30 physicists, engineers and research support staff and carries out research and engineering in support of LNS faculty research. In particular, there is a group of accelerator physicists which designs and develops new particle accelerators.

Does Harvard have a particle accelerator? ›

Visitors often lean in too close as they take in the notes attached to the cyclotron control console. The machine is actually the control console for Harvard's second cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator.

Which type of physics is best? ›

These five great physics concentrations are some of the most popular choices for those majoring in physics.
  1. Mathematical Physics. This is a field where the use of mathematic methods are applied to physics in order to solve problems. ...
  2. Astrophysics. ...
  3. Biological Physics. ...
  4. Advanced Physics. ...
  5. Medical Physics.

What career should I choose if I like physics? ›

Most Common Jobs for Physics Majors

Process engineer. Software engineer. Applications engineer.

What should I study if I love physics? ›

Potential areas of specialisation include particle physics, biotechnology, astrophysics, meteorology, nanotechnology, aerospace dynamics, atomic and laser physics, planetary physics and more.

Do physicists make good money? ›

Nationally, the median wage for physicists is $6,970 per month ($40.23 per hour). Half of all physicists earn between $5,430 and $8,690 per month ($31.35 and $50.14 per hour). Most physicists can expect benefits such as paid vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

What is a person who loves physics called? ›

"science enthusiast" or "science buff".

Where do the top physicists work? ›

Most physicists and astronomers are employed in scientific research and development services and in colleges and universities. Federal spending is the primary source of physics- and astronomy-related research funds, especially for basic research.

What is the most difficult branch of physics? ›

Quantum mechanics is deemed the hardest part of physics. Systems with quantum behavior don't follow the rules that we are used to, they are hard to see and hard to “feel”, can have controversial features, exist in several different states at the same time - and even change depending on whether they are observed or not.

Which is the most demanding branch of physics? ›

Quantum Physics

Most of the research in this field is theoretical and focuses on bringing these theories into an experimental reality.

Which branch of physics is best for Phd? ›

Related fields of study
  • Applied Physics (11) $arrow_forward.
  • Nuclear Physics (3) $arrow_forward.
  • Optics (2) $arrow_forward.
  • Particle Physics (6) $arrow_forward.
  • Theoretical Physics (5) $arrow_forward.

What is the difference between high energy physics and nuclear physics? ›

While Nuclear Physics has long been concerned with understanding the properties of the atomic nucleus, the field of High Energy Nuclear Physics is concerned with what happens to nuclear matter at extreme temperatures and densities.

What is the difference between physics and nuclear physics? ›

While nucleus physics concentrates on the study of nucleus as a composition of protons and neutrons and focuses on several reactions, particle physics mainly focuses on studying the basic particles such as the gluons, leptons, and quarks, including their various interactions.

Is nuclear physics the same as nuclear engineering? ›

Nuclear physics is a branch of physics that deals with studying atomic nuclei and other matter. In contrast, nuclear engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the physical application of physics principles. Nuclear engineering deals more with applying principles to solve the problems present.

What is the salary of a theoretical physicist? ›

How much does a Theoretical Physicist make? The average Theoretical Physicist salary is $73,216 as of October 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $62,750 and $83,248.

Do theoretical physicists make money? ›

A theoretical physicist with a post-doctorate, working as a high-end research analyst can expect to earn up to $100K per year. At the graduate level in a university, and as a first-time employee, the salary will start around $30k. And going up to $50k depending on placement and final degree results.

Who is the most successful theoretical physicist? ›

Albert Einstein (arguably the greatest theoretical physicist of all time), who has revised at the most fundamental level Newton's concepts of space and time, his dynamics and theory of gravity.

Why is quantum field theory so hard? ›

The Heisenberg uncertainty relation means that a quantum field cannot sit still. Instead, it froths and boils, a bubbling soup of particles and anti-particles, constantly created and destroyed. This complexity is what makes quantum field theory hard. Even nothingness is difficult to understand in quantum field theory.

What is the 2 theories of physics? ›

Quantum physics and Einstein's theory of general relativity are the two solid pillars that underlie much of modern physics. Understanding how these two well-established theories are related remains a central open question in theoretical physics.

What are the four quantum fields? ›

There are a lot of quantum fields, including one for every fundamental particle: an electron field, a photon field, many quark fields, a Higgs field, and so on.

What means high-energy? ›

possessing or exerting or displaying energy. adjective. vigorously energetic or forceful. synonyms: high-octane, high-power, high-powered, high-voltage dynamic, dynamical.

What uses high-energy? ›

Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.

What energy is high-energy? ›

High-Energy is called the radiation above (towards higher energies) the ultraviolet (UV), i.e. X-rays and Gamma-rays.

What are the 4 main energy levels? ›

The four you need to know are s (sharp), p (principle), d (diffuse), and f (fine or fundamental). So, s,p,d & f.

What are the 4 energy levels? ›

They are energy levels, sublevel, orbitals, and number of electrons per sublevel.
Sublevel or subshell.
Energy LevelSublevels
n = 4s, p, d, and f
3 more rows

What are the 7 energy levels? ›

It's an attitudinal assessment, not a personality-based one, and it puts a numerical value to the types of energy a person experiences and expresses:
  • Level 1: Feeling lost. Stuck. ...
  • Level 2: Anger. Combativeness. ...
  • Level 3: Rationalizing. ...
  • Level 4: Care. ...
  • Level 5: Reconciliation. ...
  • Level 6: Intuition. ...
  • Level 7: Absolute Passion.

Where is the world's most powerful particle accelerator? ›

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful particle accelerator ever built. The accelerator sits in a tunnel 100 metres underground at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

Where is the largest particle accelerator in the United States? ›

These investigations often involve collisions of heavy nuclei – of atoms like iron or gold – at energies of several GeV per nucleon. The largest such particle accelerator is the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Where is the biggest particle accelerators in the world? ›

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the biggest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. It is located at the European particle physics laboratory CERN, in Switzerland. The LHC restarted on April 22, 2022, after three years of maintenance work and upgrades.

Is there hazing in MIT? ›

MIT prohibits hazing by individuals or groups and defines it as follows: Any action or activity that is reasonably likely to, or is intended to, endanger the physical or mental health of a person for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group, ...

Is there a nuclear reactor in MIT? ›

The MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (MIT-NRL) is an interdepartmental center that operates a high performance 6 MW nuclear research reactor known as the MITR. It is the second largest university research reactor in the U.S. and the only one located on the campus of a major research university.

Does Yale have a particle accelerator? ›

Visiting Yale's Particle Accelerator | Program in the History of Science and Medicine.

What did Stephen Hawking say about CERN? ›

In his foreword for the new book Starmus: 5 Years of Man in Space, Stephen Hawking warns that the Higgs boson particle (also called the “God” particle, because monotheism) discovered by CERN scientists in 2012 and thought to give matter its mass, could destroy the Universe and “we wouldn't see it coming.”

What is the most powerful accelerator? ›

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. It consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way.

Is China building a particle accelerator? ›

China unveils blueprint for huge underground 'Higgs factory'

It is expected that operations at BEPCII-U will begin in January 2025 and the collider will operate into the early 2030s, if not longer.

What energy is high energy? ›

High-Energy is called the radiation above (towards higher energies) the ultraviolet (UV), i.e. X-rays and Gamma-rays.

What are types of energy physics? ›

Potential energy
  • Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. ...
  • Mechanical energy is energy stored in objects by tension. ...
  • Nuclear energy is energy stored in the nucleus of an atom—the energy that holds the nucleus together. ...
  • Gravitational energy is energy stored in an object's height.

What are the 8 energy types? ›

The different types of energy include thermal energy, radiant energy, chemical energy, nuclear energy, electrical energy, motion energy, sound energy, elastic energy and gravitational energy.

Which particle has high energy? ›

Beta particles (β) are high energy, high speed electrons (β-) or positrons (β+) that are ejected from the nucleus by some radionuclides during a form of radioactive decay called beta-decay.

Why is high energy important? ›

Research in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows how people and teams that resonate at higher levels of energy exude trust and cohesiveness, where creativity and innovative ideas run wild, people look out for each other, create together and fail together, free of judgement and open to whatever lessons they can and ...

What is another word for high energy? ›

Some common synonyms of energetic are lusty, nervous, strenuous, and vigorous. While all these words mean "having or showing great vitality and force," energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity.

What uses high energy? ›

Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.

What are the 7 main energy types? ›

Examples include nuclear energy, chemical energy, etc.
  • Chemical energy. Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of chemical compounds (atoms and molecules). ...
  • Electrical Energy. ...
  • Mechanical Energy. ...
  • Thermal energy. ...
  • Nuclear energy. ...
  • Gravitational Energy.

What are the 3 main energy types? ›

Kinetic, potential, and chemical energy.

What are the 5 major energy types? ›

The five forms of energy are as follows:
  • Electrical Energy.
  • Chemical Energy.
  • Mechanical Energy.
  • Thermal Energy.
  • Nuclear Energy.

What are the 4 main energy? ›

Learn more about America's energy sources: fossil, nuclear, renewables and electricity.

Can energy be destroyed? ›

The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another.

What are the 10 classes of energy? ›

Six different forms of energy are:
  • Mechanical energy.
  • Solar energy.
  • Chemical energy.
  • Nuclear energy.
  • Geothermal energy.
  • Hydel energy.

What is the highest form of energy? ›

From the highest energy to lowest are: gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet (UV), visible, infrared, microwave, and radio.

What is the highest energy? ›

Gamma rays have the highest energies, the shortest wavelengths, and the highest frequencies.

What state of matter has high-energy? ›

Energy and State of Matter

A pure substance in the gaseous state contains more energy than in the liquid state, which in turn contains more energy than in the solid state. Particles has the highest kinetic energy when they are in the gaseous state. Kinetic energy is related to heat (also called thermal energy).


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