Howard Haber: Research Interests

Howard Haber's research activities focus on the exploration of new theoretical directions beyond the currently accepted Standard Model of particle physics, and the search for methods by which experiments might uncover evidence for such new phenomena. The Standard Model provides a very successful description of the strong, weak and electromagnetic interactions down to extremely short distances. One of the main outstanding questions not yet answered by the Standard Model is the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking, which is necessary in order to generate the masses of the Standard Model particles (quarks, leptons, and the W±; and Z gauge bosons). The Standard Model posits that electroweak symmetry breaking is driven by the dynamics of a yet to be discovered sector of scalar fields. This framework predicts the existence of new spinless particles called Higgs bosons. Their properties, and the techniques for discovering these particles, is a major focus of Haber's work. However, models with elementary scalar fields lead to deep theoretical puzzles, which can only be resolved if new fundamental symmetries exist that are not contained in the Standard Model. Supersymmetric theories have the potential for resolving these difficulties. The phenomenology of the supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model is central to much of Haber's research. These models, which predict an exciting array of new particles and interactions, also provide a natural framework for the unification of all the fundamental forces. The discovery of supersymmetry would have a profound impact on theoretical particle physics and could provide the first detailed glimpse of the underlying fundamental physics beyond the energy scale accessible to the present day particle physics colliders.

Haber is also actively involved in evaluating the physics potential of future collider facilities. He has participated in numerous workshops and summer studies that have investigated the complementary discovery capabilities of the LHC, a 14 TeV proton-proton collider to be constructed at CERN, and the ILC, a very high energy e+e- linear collider currently under development by an international collaboration of physicists.


Page updated 11/24/10

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