My primary research interest is in elementary particle physics
(To find out more, take the
"Particle Adventure" tour.)
Particle physics seeks to understand the fundamental mysteries of the
universe. Never has this been more relevant or important than it is today.
Many fundamental properties of the universe confound us, and while there is no
shortage of proposed explanations we need data and/or observations to give
us insight and feedback into which explanations best reflect reality.
we know that 90% of the mass of the universe is in dark matter:
matter that appears to be non-baryonic (i.e. not made up of atoms).
We do not know what dark matter is, we need experimental clues.
We have a theory for the origin of mass,
the Higgs mechanism, and have recently discovered a candidate Higgs particle.
We need to determines its properties and compare them to the
detailed predictions of the theory.
The big bang should have created equal amounts of matter and
anti-matter, but the anti-matter appears to have disappeared.
This asymmetry tells us two things: there must be large
sources of CP violation
and there must be baryon
number violating processes. The latter has not been observed
and observations of the former are far too small.
An unknown force, often called ``dark energy,''
is forcing the universe apart, but experiment and observation
us no explanation of what this mysterious force is.
These are exciting times: many
The best place to make such discoveries in the next decade is
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at
CERN. For example,
LHC experiments are currently uniquely capable of measuring the propoerties of the Higgs
and searching for super-symmetry.
A leading candidate for dark matter is the lowest mass
super-symmetric particle. Many theories predict this to be a neutral
particle, and if so, it would have the characteristics
needed by dark matter models.
LHC experiments are also be uniquely poised to search for new
sources of CP violation.
Finally, the LHC offers unique opportunities
to search for leptoquarks (a possible explanation
for baryogenesis) and exotic predictions of theories beyond the
Standard Model, such as large extra dimensions.
As a member of the
Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration
at the LHC, I intend to exploit the rich particle physics program at
the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) over the next 10 years.
Experiments in this field take a decade or more to design, build,
and carry out. They require the construction of large detectors
and the collaboration of hundreds of scientists.
I work closely with two other Vanderbilt faculty (Professors Johns and
Webster); the activities
of our research group
are funded by the National Science
Motivated by the huge demands for high performance computing and networking in
particle physics, I have become involved in the development of
of resources and tools to support large, long-distance scientific data flows
and grid computation.
I am director and co-founder (in 2004) of the
Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education
(ACCRE), a campus-wide research computing facility enabling new and exciting opportunities at the cutting-edge of academic inquiry.
Since its inception, 600 researchers from over 30 departments and five schools have used ACCRE resources.
I also am or have been the principle investigator or co-principal investigator on
several NSF funded networking and computation projects.
This research is supported by the
National Science Foundation
under Grants PHY-1206044, PHY-1506406, OCI-1245918 and OCI-1246133.