Elementary Particle Physics is an exciting and challenging field. I work on the experimental side, and the excitement comes from investigating and ultimately understanding the interaction of the fundamental building blocks of nature. The research is carried out both on particle accelerators, where I investigate the breaking of symmetry principles like CP violation in Babar and the Higgs phenomenon at the LHC, and in Space, for which I am preparing the GLAST mission to search for the most powerful accelerators in nature.
The challenge of the experimental work lies in keeping the detector technology abreast of the requirements of the experiments. My research is centered on the application of silicon strip detectors in Elementary Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Medical Physics. Although this technology has matured in the more than 10 years of use, its large-scale use required the optimization for the specific experimental conditions. For example, in the ATLAS experiment at the proton-proton collider LHC (CERN), the problem of radiation damage has to be solved, while in the space mission GLAST, reliability and large size are the key questions.
Recently I have started a program to apply silicon strip technology to life sciences, in collaboration with medical institutions. This includes the use of silicon strip detectors in localizing and understanding DNA radiation damage and the development of imaging with protons, a potential alternative to using X-rays.
In the last few years, I have developed the SCIPP education and public outreach (EPO) program, in which I engage students, faculty, staff, high school teachers and K-12 students - http://scipp.ucsc.edu/outreach