LHC Theory Initiative Fellows share research at meeting
|LHC theory fellow Cathy Bernaciak from State University of New York at Buffalo attends a coffee break and poster session. Bernaciak presented a summary of her research at the meeting.
Graduate and post-doctoral fellows working to generate the theoretical underpinnings for experiments at the Large Hadron Collider met in October at Fermilab.
The LHC Theory Initiative Fellows Meeting was a chance for 17 program fellows — five of whom are 2009 fellows — to meet and collaborate with peers. The initiative began in 2007.
Fellows attending the meeting, all of whom attend American institutions, shared their work with other fellows through presentations and poster sessions. Jonathan Bagger of Johns Hopkins University, principal investigator for the initiative, said theorists trained in the program will create some of the groundwork for the LHC experiments.
"You need a lot of different theory at the LHC," Bagger said. "You need sophisticated calculations to understand the predictions of the Standard Model, and moreover, you need to understand them really well to see what lies beyond the Standard Model."
Fellows gave summaries of their research at the two-day event. Cathy Bernaciak, a 2008 fellow from the State University of New York at Buffalo, who presented at the meeting, said her theory work aimed to provide more precise predictions for what experimentalists will observe at the LHC. A benefit of the meeting was the chance to collaborate with her peers, she said.
"Theorists are often isolated, so it's nice to finally get to meet colleagues and feel like a community," Bernaciak said.
The fellowships, which the National Science Foundation funds, are designed partly to ensure enough support for collider theory in the United States, said Michigan State University physics professor Sekhar Chivukula, who is co-principal investigator of the project, along with Ulrich Baur from SUNY Buffalo and Lynne Orr from Rochester.
Chivukula said he was impressed with the breadth and depth of the research presented at the meeting.
"The goal of this workshop was to talk about the research they're doing," Chivukula said, "and also to form collaborations beyond the length of the fellowship."
— Chris Knight