High energy physics at UMD


An epic scientific exploration is now underway, using the largest, most complicated research facility ever devised. Its goal is as ambitious as it is urgent: to fill troubling gaps in our understanding of the fundamental nature of physical reality. It seeks to identify the full range of particles, fields and forces that act on all scales from the submicroscopic to the cosmic, and that shape the familiar luminous matter of galaxies, the enigmatic, invisible "dark matter" that surrounds them, and a previously undetected, parallel world of "supersymmetric" objects.

The explorers are an elite worldwide collaboration that includes five physicists from the University of Maryland. Their laboratory is a 27-kilometer undergroundring on the Swiss-French border, called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where super-accelerated clusters of protons slam into each other at 99.99% the speed of light. Their tools are ultra-sensitive detectors, some as large as five-story office buildings, that record the results of those collisions—including the creation of heretofore unseen particles predicted by theory.

The energy produced in LHC collisions is unprecedented and almost unimaginably intense. It is equivalent to conditions at
10-15 second (a millionth of a billionth of a second) after the Big Bang that occurred about 14 billion years ago, and will reveal the kind of primordial miasma that eventually cooled and expanded into the universe we see today.

For more detailed information, see the public-information websites of CERN, home of the LHC, FermiLab, and the CMS collaboration.

LHCb and BaBar

The research group on Flavor Physics and CP violation at University of Maryland is engaged in experimental studies of particles containing the bottom and charm quarks, including the breaking of the CP invariance in the decays of these particles. Precise measurements of these decay processes may help reveal important information on the energy scale and the structure of new physics beyond the Standard Model.

The group has had a long history of research in this areas since 1981, with the CLEO experiment at Cornell , the OPAL experiment at the LEP collider at CERN, the BaBar experiment at SLAC (1993-present) and the LHCb experiment at the LHC collider at CERN (2012-present).

We are also heavily engaged in the design and development of the tracking system for the upgrade of the LHCb detector.

More information on the group can be found at our website.

Press releases