Professor Schwarz is an experimental particle physicist who has performed research in astro-particle physics, collider physics, as well as in accelerator physics and RF engineering. His current research focuses on discovering new physics in high-energy collisions at the Large Hadron Collider and searching for dark matter with direct detection experiments in deep underground laboratories.
The Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is the world’s largest (17-mile circumference) and highest-energy (~ 13 TeV) particle collider. Colliding protons at these energies allows scientists to reproduce the conditions of the Universe 1/100th of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.
By studying these collisions, scientists at the LHC hope to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the Universe, such as why do particles have mass, why is there far more matter than antimatter, and what is the nature of the dark matter.
At the LHC, Professor Schwarz performs research at the ATLAS experiment, a 7000-ton detector the size of a 7-story building built around the collision point of the beam. His work at ATLAS focuses on searching for evidence of dark matter produced in proton collisions, and studying the top quark, which is the heaviest known fundamental particle (more massive than an atom of silver).
Searching for Dark Matter
Over seventy years of observations have led scientists to the conclusion that an invisible (dark) matter permeates the Universe, dominating the matter content so much so that it is responsible for its large-scale structure. Professor Schwarz is currently working with scientists at the University of Michigan and China on an experiment, called PandaX, which aims to directly observe the dark matter.
PandaX is a dual phase time projection chamber filled with two and a half tons of liquid Xenon and with one ton of fiducial volume. The experiment is being performed at Jinping Laboratory in the Szechuan province of China. Buried under 2.5 kilometers of marble, Jinping Lab is the deepest underground laboratory in the world. Professor Schwarz is also collaborating on a smaller dark matter experiment, DAMIC (Dark Matter in CCDs) which is searching for low mass dark matter. DAMIC is performed at SNOLAB in Ontario, Canada.
Professor Schwarz is the recipient of the 2011 Alvin Tollestrup Award for outstanding postdoctoral research at Fermi National Laboratory from the Universities Research Association.
A Search for Dark Matter in Events with One Jet and Missing Transverse Energy in pp Collisions at sqrt(s) = 1.96 TeV, T.Aaltonen et al. (CDF Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 108:211804 (2012).
Direct Search for Low Mass Dark Matter Particles with CCDs, J. Barreto et al. (DAMIC Collaboration), Phys. Lett. B 711 (2012), 264-269.
Evidence of a Mass Dependent Forward-Backward Asymmetry in Top Quark Pair Production,
T. Aaltonen et al. (CDF Collaboration), Phys. Rev. D 83:112003 (2011).
Search for Heavy Top-Like Quark in pp Collisions at sqrt(s) = 1.96 TeV,
T. Aaltonen et al. (CDF Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 107:261801 (2011).
Search for Heavy Bottom-Like Chiral Quarks Decaying to an Electron or Muon and Jets,
T. Aaltonen et al. (CDF Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 106:141803 (2011).
First Measurement of the Ratio sigma(ttbar) / sigma(Z/gamma*) and Precise Extraction of the tt Cross Section, T. Aaltonen et al. (CDF Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 105:012001 (2010).