Alexei Safonov

I work in the area of experimental high energy physics, which embarks on fundamental understanding of the world around us by studying its smallest building blocks and forces that keep these blocks together. In big picture terms, we are trying to understand how the world around us is built and why, including the origin of masses, nature of the mystereous dark matter. To answer these fundamental questions we build large accelerators that smash particles at near the speed of light velocities. We then study the results of such collisions to search for new fundamental particles and study the forces that arise between the particles as they interact. In the past 50 years nearly major discoveries in particle physics came from collider experiments. These experiments remain to be one of the most promising techniques for studying high energy physics.

I joined Texas A&M Univeristy in 2006 and since then built one of the largest experimental high energy physics single PI university programs in the US with an anual budget of over $500K. My personal physics interests focus on searches for Higgs boson, the “god particle”, and other kinds of “new” physics including Supersymmetry at Fermilab Tevatron and CERN LHC colliders. Members of my group and I work on CDF and CMS experiments located at Fermilab (Chicago) and CERN (Switzerland) respectively. In adition to anayzing data, we work on building parts of these gigantic detectors with a special emphasis on development of high speed electronics for the CMS muon trigger, which we design and build in our electronics shop.