Fundamental Interactions Theory

Supersymmetric contributions to lepton and quark electric dipole moments
Supersymmetric contributions to lepton and quark electric dipole moments

Theoretical research at UMass Amherst addresses questions that span the energy, intensity and cosmic frontiers, including particle physics, nuclear physics, cosmology, and gravity.

  • Why is there more matter than anti-matter in the present Universe?
  • What is the nature of the dark matter and dark energy?
  • What presently unseen forces were active during the first fraction of a second
    after the Big Bang?
  • What can Black Holes teach us about the quantum nature of gravity?
  • How does QCD build nucleons and nuclei out of quarks and gluons?

We investigate the phenomenology of the Standard Model to learn how strong interactions determine the properties of hadrons and nuclei and to understand what experiments can teach us about the physics of CP & flavor, the properties of the Higgs particle(s), the pattern of electroweak symmetry breaking, and the nature of neutrinos. We study scenarios for physics beyond the Standard Model, such as supersymmetry and extensions of the scalar sector, and identify their consequences for both the Large Hadron Collider and high sensitivity, low-energy experiments. This knowledge is used to explore possible scenarios for the generation of the cosmic matter-antimatter asymmetry and the prevalence of dark matter in the Universe.

Our research exploits the tools of effective field theories to understand the quantum properties of General Relativity at low energies. We study inflation to determine how our Universe was shaped and to learn about the physics of the very high energies relevant to the first fraction of second after the Big Bang. We inquire into the origin of gauge interactions — could they emerge from something completely different? — and ask what the Universe would be like if the value of fundamental parameters were allowed to change.

General Relativity (GR) describes gravity in a simple and elegant, but essentially classical way. We study gravity in both the classical and quantum regimes, asking whether GR may be deformed at low energies to account for cosmic acceleration, or extended to higher dimensions to mesh with string theory.  Much of our work focuses on Black Holes. Understanding these "fundamental particles" of geometry is key both to gravitational model building and foundational questions regarding the nature of quantum mechanics and spacetime.

Group Members

Jordy de Vries

Assistant Professor

LGRT 418 413-545-2509 jdevries@umass.edu
John Donoghue

Distinguished Professor - Emeritus

LGRT 1127C 413-545-2540 donoghue@physics.umass.edu
Yong Du

Graduate Student

LGRT 426 yongdu@umass.edu
Eugene Golowich

Professor Emeritus

LGRT 1127D 413.545.6331 golowich@physics.umass.edu
Ben Heidenreich

Assistant Professor

LGRT 417B 413-545-2402 bheidenreich@umass.edu
Barry Holstein

Professor Emeritus

LGRT 1127E 413-530-0795 holstein@physics.umass.edu
David Kastor

Associate Head/Senior Lecturer II

LGRT 421 413-545-0545 kastor@physics.umass.edu
Toichiro Kinoshita

Adjunct Professor

LGRT 1127B tk42@cornell.edu
Photo of Professor William Loinaz
William Loinaz

Professor, Amherst College

223 Merrill Science Center (413) 542-7968 waloinaz@amherst.edu
Matteo Lotito

Research Scientist

LGRT 422 413-545-0485 mlotito@umass.edu
Michael Ramsey-Musolf

Professor & Director, Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions

LGRT 416 413.545.0320 mjrm@physics.umass.edu
Tianyang (Simon) Shen

Graduate Student

LGRT 426 tianyangshen@umass.edu
Lorenzo Sorbo

Professor

LGRT 417C sorbo@physics.umass.edu
Jennie Traschen

Professor

LGRT 425 413.545.1974 traschen@physics.umass.edu
Jesse Underland

Graduate Student

LGRT 1130 junderland@umass.edu
Sebastian Urrutia-Quiroga

Graduate Student

LGRT 426 surrutiaquir@umass.edu
Jia Zhou

Postdoctoral Research Associate

LGRT 422 413-545-0485 jia@umass.edu

For more information, visit the Fundamental Interactions Theory group website.

Group Members

Faculty

Jordy de Vries
Eugene Golowich
Ben Heidenreich
Barry Holstein

Scientists & Engineers

Matteo Lotito
Jia Zhou

Students

Yong Du
Tianyang (Simon) Shen
Jesse Underland
Sebastian Urrutia-Quiroga

Visitors