Summary of Current Activities

Research in Particle Physics

My research deals with the interactions of elementary particles, the basic components of all matter. The main focus is the physics of the Higgs boson, especially the decay to bottom quarks. This research is conducted with the ATLAS experiment at CERN.

Teaching at UC Santa Cruz

I have taught a wide variety of courses at UC Santa Cruz, from undergraduate-level introductory physics to advanced graduate-level particle physics. I have been working for many years in the Physics Curriculum Committee to streamline and enrich our curriculum.

Electronics for Particle Detectors

We are developing the next generation of particle detectors using silicon pixels. In the SCIPP lab we design the power and data transmission services, and we perform electronics tests on assembled pixel modules before they are loaded onto the mechanical support structures.

Computing with Big Data

The enormous data volume from the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider requires special techniques for high-throughput computing. We continue to develop the local computing infrastructure and the software stack to make data analysis more transparent and powerful.

Recent Items

CERN data center

Launch of the WATCHEP training program

We are excited to launch a new training program to enable discoveries in fundamental science. The Western Advanced Training in Computational High-Energy Physics (WATCHEP) provides a tailored curriculum with micro-credentials and research project experience with a national lab staff member. This program, which is headquartered at SCIPP will train 12-14 students each year in a consortium of six large Western universities.

thin film transistors

New research project in Thin Film particle detectors

What if the semiconductor tracking detectors for particle physics could be made more cheaply on a large scale? One possibility is to leverage the thin-film technology used in big-screen TVs to manufacture sensors with integrated electronics. Research into this area was awarded a Seed Funding grant from UCSC Office of Research.

ATLAS detector at CERN

Welcome to PHYS 129 and PHYS 291D students!

In Winter 2024, I teach Particle Physics and Astrophysics (undergraduate), and Experimental High-Energy Collider Physics (graduate). All of the information for the courses is in the Canvas LMS.

VP1 display of candidate Higgs boson event

Observation of Higgs bosons decaying to bottom quarks

The detection of the Higgs decay to bottom quarks was announced jointly by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN, the European particle physics lab in Geneva, Switzerland. After several years of refining their techniques and gradually incorporating more data, both experiments finally saw evidence of the H→bb production that exceeds the 5-sigma threshold of statistical significance typically required to claim a discovery.

Atlantis display of candidate Higgs boson event

Measurement of Higgs bosons produced via vector boson fusion

The requirement of a high-pT photon associated with VBF Higgs production results in a remarkable background suppression because the diagrams with emission from the initial-state quark and final-state quark interfere destructively. For the same reason, this signature provides a unique opportunity to disentangle the W and Z boson contributions to vector boson fusion.

electrical cable testing machine

Power and data transmission for the ATLAS pixel detector upgrade

The Type-I services are the essential link between the Patch Panel 0 inside the ITk detector volume and the Patch Panel 1 on the ITk bulkhead. These services carry low-voltage power and high-voltage sensor bias voltage in addition to Detector Control System data and monitoring interlock signals. The services are designed with very low mass, very small cross-sectional area, and very high radiation and temperature tolerance.