High Energy Physics

The High Energy Physics group is engaged in the study of the most fundamental entities and interactions of matter. The experimental group is active in new particle and phenomena searches (such as the Higgs boson, leptoquarks, supersymmetry, lepton and CP violation) as part of the D0, muon g-2, mu2e and DUNE collaborations at Fermilab and the ATLAS experiment at CERN, and in developing detectors for possible future lepton colliders. The theorists are engaged in work on supersymmetry, collider and dark matter phenomenology of physics beyond the Standard Model, and multi-loop radiative corrections to the effective potential and physical masses of fundamental particles in the Standard Model and its extensions. Our proximity to major accelerator complexes at Fermilab and Argonne greatly enhances our research capabilities. The detector development research is organized through NICADD. To learn more about particle physics go on a Particle Adventure and some of its connections to cosmology.

Laboratories and Experiments

The primary efforts of our group are the ATLAS experiment at CERN, the Mu2e and muon g-2 experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, 30 miles east of NIU. Mu2E will search for muon conversion to electroncs in a nuclear field while the muon g-2 project will make a precision measurment of the muon's magnetic moment. NIU's roles on Mu2E include background simulation, shielding design, photodetector testing, and R&D on the extinction monitor while our g-2 effort is primarily the design and construction of the straw tubes. In 2016, NIU joined DUNE and we are contributing to photodetector development.

Many in the NIU group worked on Fermilab's D0 experiment and had major responsibilities for upgrading the muon and trigger systems. From 2002-2006 NIU's Professor Jerry Blazey was one of D0's spokespersons. Some of NIU's contributions to physics results have included seven Ph.D. dissertations. D0 ended operations in September 2011; data analysis is proceeding. An overview of D0 and some results are shown here. One can now see D0 and the Fermilab Tevatron by arranging a Tour of D0.

Particle physics group members are also working on Linear Collider Detector R and D, studying both hadronic calorimetry and muon detection, for use at a possible electron-positron collider the International Linear Collider (ILC) (Fermilab's ILC page), and the construction of a proton radiography and tomography scanner (pCT) in conjunction with NIU's medical physics group.

This work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

Contact Us

Department of Physics
La Tourette Hall, Room 202
815-753-6415
physics@niu.edu