Richard Cavanaugh

Richard Cavanaugh


Telephone: (630) 840-3803  E-mail:  Office Location: WH11E

Areas of Focus: Trigger, Standard Model, BSM



My research interests involve using high-energy proton collisions recorded by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider  to explore possible new fundamental symmetries of nature that connect phenomena across extreme orders of magnitude.  Specifically, I am searching for a hypothetical supersymmetry between fundamental particles, first postulated in the early 1970’s.  Such a supersymmetry could provide a “natural” explanation for a light Higgs Boson despite the huge hierarchy in fundamental forces, it can predict a new fundamental particle that might be responsible for (part of) dark matter, and it would be the last undiscovered fundamental symmetry of space-time.  I also participate in the operations and upgrade of the CMS Level-1 Trigger, whose purpose is to throttle the rate at which CMS collects data, reducing it to a manageable level whilst preserving essential features for offline analysis.  In this context, I study real-time decision algorithms that are based on machine learning and designed for high-speed electronics.  Finally, I combine theoretical predictions with experimental results from particle- and astro-physics in the context of supersymmetry and dark matter hypotheses, thereby attempting to bridge observations at the smallest quantum scales with the largest cosmological scales.