University of California, Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was a member of the initial group of U.S. institutions that petitioned the U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation to support U.S. participation in LHC experiments due to the great potential for exciting research. We joined the ATLAS experiment in 1994. Our work has focused on the inner tracker of the ATLAS detector and, by joining at an early stage in its development; we were able to contribute to its specification, design and construction.

Our physicists, staff and students have worked on development of the tracker's radiation-hard silicon sensors and the radiation-hard readout electronics, two areas that we have specialized in for the past 20 years. During the construction phase, we were responsible for testing the custom-designed readout integrated circuits (ICs) and assembling and then testing the multi-IC hybrid circuits that became part of each detector module (4,088 in total for the whole detector).

Continuing to advance our expertise in radiation-hard silicon sensors and radiation-hard readout electronics, our group is actively involved in R&D aimed at a future upgrade to the ATLAS detector, which will be able to handle beam intensities and resulting particle production fluxes five to 10 times higher than the present detector. 

The group's principal physics interests focus on important far-reaching measurements and searches for new physics, including electroweak symmetry breaking and dark matter candidates.  These include SUSY and exotics searches with photon + missing energy signatures, universal extra dimension searches, low-mass Higgs searches, new physics with tau leptons, and targeted SUSY searches with heavy flavor.  We also work in algorithm development and validation of e/ reconstruction, missing energy, jet energy calibration, tracking, overlay, b-tagging and upgrade simulation. 

Our ATLAS group now consists of nine senior physicists (faculty and researchers), three postdoctoral researchers and five graduate students. We also engage many undergraduate students in our research work.