John Rutherfoord

Regents Professor, Physics

Member of the Graduate Faculty

Those in the field of Particle Physics explore the fundamental constituents of matter and energy.  These reveal the sophisticated connections underlying all that we see at the smallest and at the largest scales in the universe.  Large particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory just outside Geneva, Switzerland, are like powerful microscopes which allow us with our intricate detectors to explore nature at the tiniest dimensions.  And powerful telescopes, shared with astronomers, allow us to see the structures which bear imprints of the quantum universe during the first pico-second after the big bang.  Recent successes include the discovery of the heaviest elementary particle (the top quark), the tiny masses of the neutrinos, the accelerated expansion of the universe, and the Higgs boson whose quantum field determines the masses of all the known elementary particles. From the CERN laboratory, to Fermilab just outside Chicago which, before CERN, had the highest energy accelerator in the world, to Protvino, just outside Moscow which once had the highest energy accelerator in the world, particle physics is an international endeavor.  All of these labs welcome particle physicists from far-flung countries to do science at their facilities. Research in Particle Physics inspires young people to engage with science, to take a fresh look at what is presently known, and to imagine what might be the next great discovery. This is the field in which I work.

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses


Majors Considered

All physics majors

Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

January 2020

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location