University of California, Santa Cruz SCIPP Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics

Personal Statement

My work has been entirely in the area of experimental particle physics. Since joining the faculty at UCSC in 1995, I have been active in two areas: the study of bottom quark physics at the SLAC B Factory, and planning and R&D for what we hope will be the next great initiative in experimental particle physics: the International Linear Collider. The bottom (b) quark - the heaviest fundamental form of matter that has been produced in great quantities in the laboratory - is an exciting object to study. Because it is so heavy (and a member of the "third generation" of matter), precise studies of its properties have the potential to reveal some of the Universe's best-kept secrets, including why matter and antimatter play such different roles, as well as to help us answer the deepest question about the origin of the forces of nature. The BaBar experiment, a collaboration of about 500 scientists from around the world that is centered at SLAC's PEP-II B factory, has been measuring bottom quark ("B") properties with an ever-increasing data sample since 1999. I am the leader of our local BaBar group at UCSC, and am personally involved in the study of the whimsically named "radiative penguin decays" of b quarks to lighter forms of matter with the radiation of a high-energy gamma ray (photon). Although only about one in two-thousand b quarks decay in this manner, these decays are a particularly promising place to look for the answers to some of the more interesting questions about the nature of matter and the forces that shape it. The proposed International Linear Collider, which would start taking data sometime after 2015, is an ambitious project that would hurl electrons and their antimatter partners (positrons) at each other with unprecedented energy. As for the B Factory, the Linear Collider would advance science through the precise measurement of the properties of the exotic particles it would produce, such as the theorized Higgs Boson. At UCSC, we are exploring ways of designing particle detectors whose precision can meet the challenge set forth by the Linear Collider. In particular, we are developing a novel scheme for the electronic readout and data processing of information derived from silicon microstrip detectors. We are also studying various aspects of the physics we expect to do at the Linear Collider, with an eye towards understanding the degree of precision required of our detector designs. Finally, I have written and published a relatively accessible presentation of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, entitled "Deep Down Things - the Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics" (Johns Hopkins University Press, November 2004). In this book, I tried to present physicist's current thinking about the forces of nature without requiring a formal scientific background of the reader. The Universe is a wonderfully subtle yet fascinatingly structured place, and I hope the readers of Deep Down Things come away with a deeper appreciation of its miraculous beauty, as well as some of the conondrums that its deeper study present.

Collaboration Involvement: BaBar, SLD, NLC