Particle-physics research in recent decades has led to the discovery of the basic constituents of matter and an understanding of the laws of physics that govern the universe. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator operating near Geneva, has opened a new frontier in this field – the energy frontier. Research at the LHC has already led to the discovery of what appears like the last missing particle in our current understanding of particle physics – the Higgs boson. But in addition, we expect new particles that indicate yet-unknown forces and physical laws to be produced at the energy regime of the LHC. Prof. Soffer’s research focuses on searches for such particles, in particular particles with long lifetimes, which are predicted by theories related to the dark matter that pervades the universe or to new symmetries of nature. The energies and momenta of the particles produced in high-energy proton-proton collisions are measured by the large particle detector ATLAS, and physicists from around the world analyze the data for signs of new particles and new physical laws.
An additional frontier in particle-physics research is the intensity frontier, which involves precise measurements of the properties of known particles to search for the effects of new physical laws. Prof. Soffer participates in this research in the BABAR experiment, where he also served as physics analysis coordinator in the years 2011-2012.