back to news March 23, 2017

DOE Funds Fundamental, Wide-Ranging, High-Energy Physics

The Department of Energy’s three-year, $5.65 million grant to Ohio State’s High Energy Physics Group funds the research of 13 faculty members and their postdocs and graduate students on wide-ranging projects in fundamental physics.

This physics group is — and has long been — a major player in worldwide efforts to untangle the fundamental mysteries of the universe.

Group members have searched for physics beyond the standard model, including the source of dark matter, and conducted precision studies of standard-model processes.

Experimental physicists on the grant include Assistant Professor Antonio Boveia, Professors Stan Durkin, K.K. Gan, Christopher Hill, Harris Kagan and Richard Kass, along with Professor and Chair Brian Winer, who play important roles in the Large Hadron Collider’s two general-purpose detectors — ATLAS and CMS — and have made major contributions in both hardware and data analysis.

These experimental physicists were, in fact, an integral part of the team that found the elusive Higgs Boson, or “God” particle, in 2012 — perhaps the most momentous discovery in the field of particle physics.

The grant's theoretical physicists, Professors Eric Braaten, Samir Mathur, Stuart Raby and Assistant Professor Linda Carpenter, think about the most puzzling questions in this field. The questions and topics they consider range all the way from physics beyond the current standard model, to what is inside a black hole, to the nature of dark matter, to precision calculations of standard-model processes.

Physics Professor Klaus Honscheid and Astronomy Professor Paul Martini, are astrophysicists who study dark energy via non-accelerator based methods and are leading efforts in the design, construction and analysis of data from a series of ongoing experiments. They are looking at astronomical sky surveys that include the Dark Energy Survey, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument and the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey.

“Securing funding for both theory and experiment is important because it facilitates, enhances and encourages collaboration among the respective groups,” says experimental physicist and physics department chair Brian Winer. “Another critical part of this grant enables training graduate students and postdocs in an environment that utilizes the latest developments in computers, electronics and data mining.”