Photo credit: L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Peter Adshead
Peter Adshead
237D Loomis Laboratory
(217) 244-7862

I work on a broad range of topics in the very early universe, focussing primarily on the physics of inflation and their imprint on the cosmic microwave background radiation, the reheating phase transition that must end inflation and begin the hot Big Bang, and the connections between high-energy particle physics and the early universe.

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Patrick I. Draper
Patrick I. Draper
435 Loomis Laboratory
(217) 300-8203

Much of my research has been motivated by the electroweak hierarchy problem and the strong CP problem. I have worked on the physics of the Higgs boson, particularly in the context of supersymmetric solutions to the hierarchy problem; the cosmology of axion solutions to the strong CP problem and other axion-like dark matter candidates; and the experimental probes of other mechanisms that could address strong CP.  I am also interested in more theoretical aspects of quantum field theory, particularly regarding nonperturbative phenomena in gauge theories, and in constraining effective field theories with ultraviolet consistency conditions.

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Aida X. El-Khadra
Aida X. El-Khadra
429 Loomis Laboratory
(217) 333-5026

A large part of my research concerns lattice QCD calculations that are needed to interpret measurements in high energy experiments, particularly in flavor physics. For example, the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon provides one of the single strongest hints for new physics in this program in the form of a tantalizing tension between Standard Model theory and experiment of 3-4 standard deviations. The Fermilab g-2 experiment has recently started taking data, with the goal of reducing the experimental errors by a factor of four. However, the theoretical uncertainties, which are dominated by the hadronic contributions, must also be reduced, in order unambiguously discover if new physics contributes to this quantity. Other recent research interests also include using quantum simulators and quantum computing to study novel Quantum Field Theories.

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Yonatan Frederick Kahn
Yonatan Frederick Kahn
415 Loomis Laboratory
(217) 300-7262

In my opinion, the most robust collection of data we have to guide the search for physics beyond the Standard Model is the evidence for the existence of dark matter. My research is focused on designing new experiments to detect dark matter, often in collaboration with condensed matter physicists.

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Jessie Shelton
Jessie Shelton
417 Loomis Laboratory
(217) 244-7914

I work on a broad range of topics in particle physics beyond the Standard Model.  My overarching interests are to develop new ways to discover and understand footprints of new physics, in systems that range from colliders to the cosmos.  Major research focuses include Higgs physics, challenging signatures at high-energy colliders, dark matter, and the thermal histories of dark sectors.

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Postdoctoral Researchers

Nicolas  Fernandez
Nicolas Fernandez
455 Loomis Laboratory
Zechariah  Gelzer
Zechariah Gelzer
Benjamin Guion Lillard
Benjamin Guion Lillard
Jan  Schuette-Engel
Jan Schuette-Engel

Graduate Students

Cristian  Gaidau
Cristian Gaidau
Shaun  Lahert
Shaun Lahert
Rachel Nicole Nguyen
Rachel Nicole Nguyen
443 Loomis Laboratory
Pranjal  Ralegankar
Pranjal Ralegankar
Zach Weiner
Zach Weiner

Undergraduate Students

Barry Chiang
Barry Chiang
Bashi Mandava
Bashi Mandava
Bhairav Shailesh Valera
Bhairav Shailesh Valera

Alumni - Graduate Students

name, Year Ph.D. received, first position after leaving, permanent academic position

Advisor: El-Khadra

  • Damien Menscher, Ph.D. 2005
  • R. Todd Evans, Ph.D. 2008, Universität Regensburg
  • Chris Bouchard, Ph.D. 2011, Ohio State University
  • Chia-Cheng Chang, Ph.D. 2015, LBL, Theory group

Advisor: Willenbrock

  • Zack Sullivan, Ph.D. 1998, Fermilab
  • Martin Smith, Ph.D. 1998
  • Mike Niczyporuk, Ph.D. 2002, MIT (Pappalardo Fellow)
  • Kevin Paul, Ph.D. 2002, UIUC
  • Thomas McElmurry, Ph.D. 2006, University of Wisconsin
  • Josh Sayre, Ph.D. 2008, Pittsburgh U.
  • Rob Putman, Ph.D. 2010
  • Cen Zhang, Ph.D. 2011, Louvain U.
  • Will Link, Ph.D. 2012
  • Harrison Mebane, Ph.D. 2013

Alumni - Postdoctoral Researchers

name, last year at Illinois, first position after leaving, permanent academic position

  • Evangelos Sfakianakis, xx, Nikhef
  • James Simone, 1996, Fermilab, Fermilab (Senior Scientist)
  • Tim Stelzer, 1998, UIUC (PER faculty), UIUC (Physics Education Research)
  • Zbigniew Sroczynski, 2000, Liverpool
  • Fabio Maltoni, 2002, Rome U., Catholic University Louvain/Bologna
  • M. Bugra Oktay, 2004, Trinity College (Dublin)
  • Soren Wiesenfeldt, 2007, Karlsruhe
  • Elvira Gamiz, 2009, Fermilab, University of Granada
  • Elizabeth Freeland, 2011, Benedictine College (Faculty, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
  • Nicolas Greiner, 2011, MPI Munich
  • CĂ©line Degrande, 2013, Durham, Catholic University Louvain
  • Daping Du, 2013, Syracuse University
  • Olivier Mattelaer, 2013, Catholic University Louvain, Catholic University Louvain
  • Jared Evans, 2017, U. Cincinnati
  • Jonathan Kozaczuk, 2019, UCSD
  • Lauren Pearce, 2019, Penn State - New Kensington, Penn State - New Kensington