Jesse Thaler is a theoretical particle physicist whose research focus is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment at CERN.
The LHC is pushing the frontiers of scientific knowledge through high energy particle collisions. With the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC in 2012, the standard model of particle physics is now complete, yet its shortcomings loom larger than ever. The standard model does not fully address a number of outstanding questions in fundamental physics, including the nature of dark matter, the apparent weakness of gravity, and the symmetry structure of our universe. Together with high-intensity collider experiments and ground- and satellite-based dark matter experiments, the LHC has ushered in a new era of discovery, with enormous potential to reveal what new physics lies beyond the standard model.
In his research, Prof. Thaler aims to maximize the discovery potential of the LHC by applying theoretical insights from quantum field theory. He is particularly interested in novel methods to test the properties of dark matter at the LHC and beyond, as well as the theoretical structures and experimental signatures of supersymmetry. Prof. Thaler also develops new methods to characterize jets, which are collimated sprays of particles that are copiously produced at the LHC. These techniques exploit the substructure of jets to enhance the search for new physics as well as to illuminate the structure of the standard model itself.
Jesse Thaler joined the MIT Physics Department in 2010, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Center for Theoretical Physics. From 2006 to 2009, he was a fellow at the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University in 2006, and his Sc.B. in Math/Physics from Brown University in 2002. He was awarded an Early Career Research Award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2011, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House in 2012, a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2013, and a Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award from MIT in 2016.