Contact: Kimberly Dawidowski
The goal of high energy physics is the understanding of the elementary particles that are the fundamental constituents of matter. The fabulous success of the Standard Model has given us a framework for interpretation of most particle interactions, but it has also created a foundation from which we can begin to explore a deeper level of issues such as the origin of mass, the preponderance of matter over antimatter in the Universe, the identity of "dark matter," the physics of the Big Bang, and the microscopic structure of space-time.
The most direct experimental path to the understanding of such issues uses particles of the highest achievable energies. Following this path, Princeton physicists are deeply involved with the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (Switzerland).
The Princeton group is also active in neutrino oscillations (the reactor experiment at Daya Bay, China) and the search for WIMP Dark Matter using liquid argon scintillation/ionization detectors (in the Gran Sasso Underground Lab in Italy.)
Princeton groups have also been active in the area of CP violation and neutrino mixing in these experiments: BaBar and Belle at the B Factories at SLAC (California) and KEK (Japan), respectively, which both began collecting data in 1999; the Booster Neutrino Experiment, MiniBooNE, at Fermilab (Illinois) (see pictures). We are also taking part in research and development for a new type of accelerator, the Muon Collider/Neutrino Factory.
Whatever the size of the experiment, the Princeton groups play leading or major roles in the collaborations, and graduate students have the opportunity and are expected to be at the center of the important hardware development and physics analysis. We have the facilities in the shops and assembly areas of the Elementary Particles Laboratory to design, build, and test components of experiments to be installed at accelerator labs elsewhere. The EP Lab shops and our state-of-the-art electronics-design facilities also support an active program in the development of detection and readout techniques for future experiments.