Elementary Particle Physics


The Theoretical Particle Physics group seeks to understand the fundamental forces of nature and the basic structure of matter, energy, and space-time. Work proceeds on theoretical foundations, such as M-theory and string theory, on the interface of particle physics and cosmology, and on phenomenological studies which test, strengthen and extend the current "standard model". Topics of interest include the string theory description of quantum gravity and gauge fields, supergravity, dark matter and dark energy, big bang physics, the origin of flavor and CP violation, the phenomenology of supersymmetry and string theory, QCD, regularization and renormalization in field theories, and the general connection of theory and experiment. The stimulating environment of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics provides a very active atmosphere, support for visitors in all areas of particle theory, and fruitful cross-connections between the particle group and other theoretical disciplines.


Elementary Particle PhysicsMichigan's experimental groups have lead roles in frontier experiments spanning much of particle and nuclear physics. The ATLAS Collaboration contributed to the discovery of and now is studying the properties of the Higgs boson. At the same time, the group is searching for other new phenomena in 14 TeV proton-proton collisions at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The Atlas Great Lakes Tier 2 computing center dissemenates research data throughout the United States. The CDF and DZero groups have studied the top quark and have searched for new phenomena in 2 TeV proton-antiproton collisions at the Fermilab Tevatron. The Linear Collider group is carrying out detector R&D for a future high-energy electron-positron collider. A large Michigan team works on the Dark Energy Survey telescope which will measure the nature of the "dark energy" that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. The U-M nuclear physics group uses beams of unstable nuclei to understand the astrophysical origin of the elements, while also pursuing studies in radiation oncology and nuclear medicine.

Nuclear, particle, and astrophysics at Michigan all benefit from the close relationship between our theory and experimental groups, and all teams look forward to uncovering new knowledge about the fundamental laws governing our universe.

Elementary Particle Physics Faculty



Ratindranath Akhoury - Elementary particle theory, gravity

Henriette Elvang - Quantum field theory, string theory, gravity

Katherine Freese - Theoretical cosmology and particle astrophysics

Gordon Kane - High energy theory, particle astrophysics and cosmology

Finn Larsen - Theoretical high energy physics, quantum gravity

James Liu - String theory, supergravity, gauge/gravity duality

Leopoldo Pando Zayas - String theory, quantum gravity, gauge theories

Aaron Pierce - Particle phenomenology, fundamental symmetries, dark matter

James Wells - Particle phenomenology, supersymmetry, extra dimensions


Christine Aidala - Hadronic structure, QCD dynamics (PHENIX, SeaQuest)

Dan Amidei - High energy collider physics (CDF, ATLAS)

Myron Campbell - High energy physics, rare decays (KOTO)

Timothy Chupp - Fundamental symmetries, dark matter

David Gerdes - High energy collider physics, dark energy (DES, DESI)

Wolfgang Lorenzon - Hadronic structure (SeaQuest), dark matter (PandaX)

Homer Neal - High energy collider physics (D0, ATLAS)

Jianming Qian - High energy collider physics (D0, ATLAS)

Keith Riles - High energy physics, gravitational waves (ILC, LIGO)

Tom Schwarz - High energy collider physics (ATLAS)

Joshua Spitz - High energy physics, neutrinos (MicroBooNE at Fermilab, J-PARC)

Bing Zhou - High energy collider physics (D0, ATLAS)

Junjie Zhu - High energy collider physics (D0, ATLAS)



Research Projects in Experimental Particle 
and Nuclear Physics:

U-M Theory Group
Photo Credit: Jean-Francois Colonna