Professor Nikolaos Kidonakis, Distinguished Professor of Physics, and Dr. Marco Guzzi, Assistant Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics, conduct research in theoretical particle physics. Their research focuses on understanding elementary particles and how they interact.
This NSF joint grant is the result of the professors’ collaborative work and will sustain their research for the next three years.“It covers travel money and summer salary along with hiring students and post-doc to do research,” Kidonakis said. This is the sixth consecutive grant that Kidonakis received at KSU and the second one for Guzzi.
The grant will support the work of undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. It will also allow more students to become hired and get paid in the program.
The post-doctoral researchers have spent several years doing research and are at a more advanced stage. This research is available to all students and will allow them more opportunities to become research assistants and gain hands-on experience.
The principal area of research for Kidonakis is the top-quark particle which is the heaviest elementary particle. For Guzzi, it is the structure of the proton.
According to Guzzi, the Particle Theory group at KSU is the only actively funded particle theorists’ group in the entire State of Georgia. “The particle theory group at KSU has international stature, and this has attracted several students to this field of study so far,” Guzzi said.
The current research improves theoretical predictions which are confronted with experimental measurements from the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is the biggest accelerator facility in the world where protons collide at very high energy and where it can be seen how particles interact. The work consists of calculating theory predictions for elementary particle reactions and comparing them to experimental data. The Large Hadron Collider is a facility located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.