Particle Physics Research
The standard model has been spectacularly successful, leading to the prediction and observation of the W and Z bosons and to precision tests confirming the theory's validity in higher order calculations. However, the there is a general consensus that it is not a fundamental theory of nature, because many key elements are left unexplained:
- the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking
- the generation and stabilization of the hierarchy, i.e., the large disparity between the electroweak and the Planck scale
- the connection of elementary particle forces with gravity
- the generation of fermion masses and mixings
- the source of the baryon asymmetry of the universe and the nature of its unseen dark matter and energy density.
Dr. Anchordoqui is investigating a number of subjects that exploit this synergy, with the goal of searching for new phenomena beyond the highly successful but conceptually incomplete standard model of particle physics.
Standard Model of Fundamental Particles and Interactions
Tom Paul has recently joined the particle physics group, and is participating in the NA61/SHINE experiment at CERN. NA61/SHINE is a hadron spectrometer designed to study the onset of deconfinement and to search for the critical point of strongly interacting matter. The experiment will also gather important reference data needed to understand details of the physics of cosmic ray air showers, so this experiment ties in nicely with our work on the Pierre Auger Observatory.