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High Energy Physics

The recent announcement of the discovery of the Higgs Boson rocked the world. The Higgs Boson is the particle within the Standard Model of Particle Physics that gives mass to all other particles. While the discovery of the Higgs Boson does solve one problem of particle physics, there are many problems yet unsolved. Particle physics research at the University of Utah is investigating physics beyond the standard model. Researchers are using connections between theoretical particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics, solving strong interactions of quarks and gluons through numerical simulation, and working on various problems in the frontier of theoretical physics including particle theory, condensed matter theory and mathematical physics.

High Energy Theory Group

Gustavo Marques-Tavares

Gustavo's research area is theoretical particle physics, in particular in the theory and phenomenology of Physics beyond the standard model. He has a special interest in model with light new particles (lighter than the weak scale), and has been studying new signatures of such particles in astrophysical systems, such as Supernovae and Binary Neutron Star mergers, and in precision cosmology, such as in the Cosmic Microwave Background and in Large Scale Structure observables. Gustavo also worked extensively in the theory and phenomenology of new light bosonic degrees of freedom, such as the axion and light vector fields with feeble coupling to standard model particles.

Zhengkang Zhang

Zhengkang’s research focuses on theoretical aspects of particle phenomenology. He is particularly interested in effective field theories and their applications in beyond the Standard Model physics. He also seeks to advance theoretical physics using machine learning, and vice versa, by exploring connections between neural networks and field theories.

Yue Zhao

Yue's research interests are in new physics beyond the standard model. He has been working on several different methods in order to explore new physics. He is very interested in developing novel experimental ideas for new physics, including utilizing recent advances in precision measurement techniques. He is also interested in exploring the possibility of extending the purposes of existing experiments, such as LIGO and DUNE, to look for new physics. The new field of gravitational wave astronomy is particularly exciting to him, and studying new physics through gravitational wave will be one of his main focuses in the future.

High energy phenomenology with a focus on new physics beyond the standard model (SM)

Research Website
Astronomy at the U

Pearl Sandick

Pearl is a theoretical particle physicist focusing on topics at the interface of particle physics and cosmology. She and her group investigate astrophysical phenomena such as the gamma-ray signature of dark matter annihilations in our Galaxy, or possible effects of dark matter on the first stars to form in the universe. She also studies the phenomenology of models of particle physics beyond the Standard Model, for example, Supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model, the particle dark matter candidates they contain, and how to discover the new physics at colliders and/or through identifying properties of dark matter particles.

Research Website
Astronomy at the U

Paolo Gondolo

Paolo's research focuses on the nature of dark matter, dark energy, relativistic astrophysics, and high energy physics

Carleton DeTar

Carleton conducts research in high energy theoretical physics. Most of my work involves the solution of the strong interactions of quarks and gluons through numerical simulation on high performance computers. Results of the numerical simulations are compared with results of experiment. They guide our search for new forms of matter, contribute our understanding of the early universe, and may provide clues about still more fundamental physics.

MIMD Lattice Computation (MILC)

Research Experiences for Undergrads

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah offers a research experience program in physics and astronomy that allows undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor and their research group on an individual project.

All interested students are invited to apply for this 10-week summer program.

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