My main line of research is in particle physics and is concerned with the search for physics beyond the Standard Model. I am particularly interested in the problem of Electroweak symmetry breaking and the nature of dark matter. The origin of the Electroweak scale is one of the last unresolved problems in particle physics and is currently being vigorously pursued by several very large experiments in Fermilab as well as the Large Hadron Collider. With regard to dark matter, while it is yet unclear whether it is really a problem of basic particle physics, one possibility is that it is in fact a new fundamental particle. Indeed, it may even be deeply connected with the Electroweak scale itself.
With the Tevatron in Fermilab functioning at peak performance and the Large Hadron Collider in CERN now back online, we are faced with a wealth of data that we hope will shed new light on the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking. The most urgent task is to find or exclude the only remaining unverified piece of the Standard Model, namely the Higgs boson. I have participated in an experimental search for a variant of the standard Higgs boson and maintain an active interest in the theoretical and experimental problems involved.
Going beyond the search for the Higgs boson, there are numerous theoretical problems as well as experimental discrepancies that strongly suggest particles and interactions beyond those described by the Standard Model. Accordingly, I draw motivation from both theory and experiment in the search for physics beyond the Standard Model. Recently, I have been particularly interested and actively worked on the possibility of additional force carriers, their theoretical description as well as their manifestation in high energy colliders and atomic physics experiments. With the Large Hadron Collider probing new energy scales, the next several years are bound to lead to great progress in particle physics and exciting new discoveries.
Going further, the Standard Model seems to be lacking a good explanation for the existence of dark matter. Over the past several decades it has become clear that something is not right with the dynamics of bodies on astronomical scales. The leading explanation for the observed discrepancies is the existence of a non-luminous form of matter, that is dark matter. The nature of the dark matter is a major unresolved problem in physics, and at the moment it cannot be accommodated within the Standard Model. One possibility, and one that I am particularly interested in, is that it is a new stable particle. There are major efforts around the world to search for dark matter directly in the lab as well as through indirect astrophysical observations. These efforts may soon produce the first non-gravitational evidence for the existence of dark matter. Together, the different experimental frontiers all form a fertile ground for progress and advances in the theoretical models of particle physics. Their interpretation and interrelation form my main line of research.