Research in high-energy particle physics and astrophysics is done in the setting of an organized research unit, the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics/SCIPP. With approximately two dozen faculty from Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, and SCIPP appointments, plus post-docs, research staff, students, visitors, and administrative staff, SCIPP is home to vibrant and evolving research in experimental and theoretical particle physics and particle astrophysics. An especially exciting aspect of work in SCIPP is the productive interaction among the different research groups, including the close connections between theoretical and experimental work, on topics such as searches for the Higgs boson, supersymmetry, the nature of dark matter, tests of fundamental physics, and a wide variety of high-energy phenomena on the ground, in the atmosphere, and in space.

Research Areas

Rubin Observatory
Wide-ranging observations, experiments, and novel instrumentation give insights into cosmology, high-energy gamma-ray and cosmic ray astrophysics, the nature of dark matter, galaxy formation and evolution, and the intergalactic medium.
Experiments on spacecraft, airplanes, and balloons measure x-ray and gamma-ray emissions from astrophysical and geophysical sources. These give insight into terrestrial lightning, solar radiation, and Earth’s radiation belts.
Particle detector and electronics development enables the next generation of scientific experiments. Breakthroughs in detector design allow us to measure particle energies, positions, and timing with high efficiency and precision.
Unique large scale multielectrode recording systems are used to study the function, development and treatment of neural circuits. Novel imaging systems track protons and photons to map structures in the body.
Particle physics theory focuses on high energy colliders and the physics of the very early universe. Astrophysics theory addresses early universe cosmology, galaxy evolution, the intergalactic medium, and extreme astrophysical environments.
High-energy collider experiments and high-intensity fixed-target experiments study particle interactions and search for new particles and forces. Advanced detector and computing technologies are used to maximize discovery potential.