NIU PHYS 684 - Introduction to High Energy Physics Spring 2010
Here are some suggestions for your term papers. See comments at the bottom.
- 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
Where should we look for a 4th generation quark or lepton? What
constraints can be derived from current data?
- 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.
- Neutrino masses and oscillations.
What's special about these "spooky" particles? What can we expect to learn from them?
- 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?
- 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.
- Beyond the Standard Model
- Grand Unified Theories,
- Alternatives to fundamental scalars for electroweak
symmetry breaking (e.g. a new gauge symmetry called "technicolor"
postulates "technifermions" whose scalar bound states serve as
"composite Higgs" that lead to "dynamical EWSB"),
- Extra Dimensions,
- Survey of a current or future accelerator.
- Survey of a current/recent or future detector
Symmetric/asymmetric collider, or fixed-target.
- Survey of a very large neutrino observatory.
Neutrino observatories are so completely different from collider facilities in their objectives and challenges!
- 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.
- Limit yourselves to no more than 4-5 pages (assuming
number of words per page similar to that in the lecture note
hand-outs). The general structure should be: Introduction/Motivation,
Current Status, Future Prospects, References.
- No topic is purely theoretical nor purely
experimental. The "theory" topics have to address observable
consequences, and the "experimental" topics must have adequate
- The above topics are suggestions only. You
are welcome to suggest your own. Some of the topics listed are rather
general. You'll have to be pretty sketchy to stay within the page
limits (I don't mind the lack of details so long as the coverage is
even and correct). If you prefer a more in-depth investigation of a
more specific topic not listed here, feel free to suggest something.
- Some of the above, e.g. #s 6, 8, 9 are
each a collection of topics. You'd pick one from the collection. For
example, one could write about the Tevatron, another about the ILC.
- Topics will be assigned on a
first-come-first served basis. Send me your first 3 preferences. The
sooner you respond to this mail, the more likely you are to get what
- After you've been assigned a topic, see me if you need advice on how to get started.
- The reports are due on April 16. Bring 7 copies to the class.
- The oral presentations will take place on
April 23 & 25. Each of you will have 20' for presentation, followed
by 5' of Q & A.
- Let the instructor know if you have any questions.