Particle physics phenomenology is the field of theoretical physics that focuses on the observable consequences of the fundamental particles of Nature and their interactions. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson provides an exquisite confirmation of the Standard Model, but important mysteries remain, including the nature of dark matter, the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe, the properties of the neutrino sector, and the lightness of the Higgs mass. The Princeton phenomenology group works at the interface between theory and experiment to tackle these many challenges.
The Princeton group is actively studying the imprint of dark matter in astrophysical data sets such as the Fermi Large Area Telescope and the Gaia satellite. In addition, they are developing search strategies for new physics models at the Large Hadron Collider and fixed-target experiments. In scenarios where theoretical models lie outside the sensitivity reach of current experiments, the Princeton group collaborates closely with experimentalists to develop new design proposals.
Graduate students in phenomenology typically work on a broad array of topics, establishing skills in theoretical model building, statistical tools and data analysis, numerical simulation, and the conceptual design of new experiments. They are actively involved in studying theories that extend the Standard Model of particle physics, understanding existing constraints, and developing effective experimental or observational strategies for discovery.