Joseph Incandela

University of California, Santa Barbara


Election Year: 2015
Primary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Incandela is an experimental particle physicist known for development of particle detectors and their application to searches for new particles at high energy particle colliders. Incandela grew up in the Chicago area and received his PhD from the University of Chicago under Prof. Henry Frisch in 1986 for a search for magnetic monopoles using superconducting coils and quantum interference devices. As a CERN Fellow he joined the UA2 experiment in 1987, performing a measurement of the mass of the Z boson and leading a search for Higgs bosons in tau final states. He joined the CDF experiment as a Fermilab Wilson Fellow in 1991. He led several detector projects and also co-led the search for top quarks that provided the most significant contribution to their discovery in 1995. In 1997 he formed the US Silicon tracker project for the CMS experiment at CERN where he held several leadership roles. As elected Spokesperson, he led the CMS experiment for the observation of the Higgs boson, which he presented on July 4, 2012. He is a co-recipient of the 2012 Breakthrough Prize in Physics. He has been professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 2001.

Research Interests

Incandela’s research is focused on finding evidence for physics beyond the standard model of particle physics that could help explain the existence of the Higgs boson at the electroweak scale and also provide a better understanding of dark matter. The Higgs boson is the first elementary particle to be discovered that has no intrinsic angular momentum. As such its mass is susceptible to divergent quantum corrections.  A basic symmetry between bosons and fermions called Supersymmetry provides counter-terms to stabilize the Higgs mass at the electroweak scale. A by-product of this symmetry, when it is combined with a new conserved parity, is the existence of a new particle that is an excellent candidate for dark matter. Incandela is searching for heavy partners to the top quark, as predicted by Supersymmetry, that would stabilize the Higgs at low mass, and which decay to dark matter particles. He is also developing new particle detectors to enable continued studies of the Higgs boson and searches for new particles in a future, very high intensity period of the LHC program slated to start in 2025.

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