Matthew Reece's research centers around connecting theoretical particle physics with new experimental results. This work proceeds mostly on two fronts. One is building models that attempt to extend the Standard Model of particle physics in ways that address various puzzles arising in quantum field theory and cosmology. The second is proposing specific ways to test such models in experiments, and analyzing and interpreting new experimental results as they are published. In particular, much of Reece's recent work has involved closely following experimental results of the Large Hadron Collider and exploring their implications for particle physics. He has contributed to showing how the LHC's recent measurement of the Higgs boson mass falsifies many minimal models of supersymmetry and effectively rules out a class of supersymmetric models, "general gauge mediation", that was previously thought to be a compelling possibility for weak-scale physics. He has a longstanding interest in the experimental implications of the hierarchy problem, which in the context of supersymmetry has led him to study experimental signatures of the scalar top (or stop) quark, a supersymmetric partner of the top quark that cancels large quadratic divergences in the Standard Model.
Although the LHC, at the energy frontier, is producing dramatic results now, Reece is also interested in other experiments, in particular those at the precision frontier. In past work he has proposed that high-intensity, medium-energy experiments, like KLOE, BaBar, and Belle, may be able to detect new forces by studying rare decays of mesons. He has also studied a general effective field theory that applies to the direct detection of dark matter, and continues to be interested in both direct and indirect detection of dark matter. New results from a wide range of precision observations including the Fermi-LAT telescope, the XENON100 dark matter experiment, and the ACME electron electric dipole experiment all promise to either discover new physics or set powerful new constraints in the near future, and Prof. Reece will be actively following these exciting developments and working to place them in a broader particle physics context.
Reece's work also involves more abstract issues in quantum field theory. In the past, he has worked on understanding the limitations of holographic models for the study of strongly interacting systems like QCD, as well as how unitarity constrains operators in effective field theory like the S-parameter.
Faculty Assistant: Erica Colwell
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Cambridge, MA 02138