NIU PHYS 684 - Introduction to High Energy Physics Spring 2010

Here are some suggestions for your term papers. See comments at the bottom.
  1. Could there be more fundamental spin-1/2 particles in the SM? The current measurements of the CKM matrix elements assumes there are only 3 families of quarks and leptons. What may happen if there is a 4th? Where should we look for a 4th generation quark or lepton? What constraints can be derived from current data?

  2. CP violation. There is an intimate relationship between CP violation and the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the observed universe. In fact, the degree of CP violation allowed in the SM with 3 families of leptons and quarks seems insufficient to explain the level we see today.

  3. Neutrino masses and oscillations. What's special about these "spooky" particles? What can we expect to learn from them?

  4. The top quark. Why is it so heavy? What are the consequences of its large mass that make it a most interesting particle to study?

  5. The Higgs boson(s). In the standard model, all fundamental particle masses arise from the scalar Higgs field. Richer Higgs sectors are postulated in some popular scenarios beyond the SM.

  6. Beyond the Standard Model

  7. Survey of a current or future accelerator. Tevatron/LHC/ILC/...

  8. Survey of a current/recent or future detector Symmetric/asymmetric collider, or fixed-target.

  9. Survey of a very large neutrino observatory. Neutrino observatories are so completely different from collider facilities in their objectives and challenges!

  10. Data collection and analysis in High Energy Physics. Response of complex detector components comprising of millions of channels have to be registered with maximum fidelity. Speed is often at a premium, requiring fast, multi-level triggering systems to select the most interesting events from hge background of "mundane" ones.