Professor in the Particle Astrophysics Group Research Group Manager in the Research Division at SNOLAB
I am Professor Physics at Queen's University on secondment to SNOLAB in Sudbury to serve as the Research Group Manager in the Reseach Division. While I am primarily working on management activities that facilitate the SNOLAB research program, I also conduct my own research as part of the PICO and HALO Collaborations. PICO is a bubble-chamber-based technology designed to search for lower-mass dark matter candidates, and benefits from a strong involvement from faculty, students, and other researchers at Queen's University. HALO is a neutrino detection technology designed for exceptional up time so that it can watch for, and detect, the neutrino blast wave from a dying star. This allows HALO to alert astronomical instruments across the globe of the forthcoming light from the explosion.
In addition to my research, I have taught a range of courses across university levels, including introductory physics, relativity, quantum physics, honors levels of physics courses, a special seminar on quantum spin for graduate students, and even a teaching practicum for graduate students. I am also an author, including a series of books called “The Friendly Physics Guide to … ” and a book co-authored with Frank Blitzer and S. James Gates, Jr. entitled “Reality in the Shadows (or) What the Heck’s the Higgs?”
I joined the faculty at Queen's University in the fall of 2022. From 2009 to summer of 2022, I was a Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at SMU in Dallas, TX. I served as the Chair of the Department of Physics at SMU from 2020-2022. My focus then was on the the Higgs particle. I was a member of the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) Collaboration, which operated the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, a research facility hosted by the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. I focused on the interactions of the Higgs particle with the second-heaviest building block of matter, the bottom quark, to learn what it can teach us about the origin of the universe. I participated in two major discoveries about the Higgs particle: the measurement of its spin-parity quantum numbers using Higgs decays to four leptons (particles like the electron) and the first ever observation of the Higgs directly interacting with quarks. I also served as a leader in the community of nuclear and particle physicists engaged in planning for the Electron-Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory. I studied the identification of quark-initiated jets in the context of the ATHENA (A Totally Hermetic Electron-Nucleus Apparatus) proto-collaboration.