Theoretical Particle Physics at BU

The goal of particle physics is to understand the fundamental constituents of matter and their mutual interactions. Particle theorists attempt to reach this goal in a variety of ways, but they depend on close contact with the results of their experimental colleagues to test theoretical ideas. The “standard model” of particle physics is that the fundamental constituents are quarks, leptons, gauge bosons and the graviton, interacting via the strong, electroweak and gravitational interactions. At Boston University, this picture and its possible extensions are investigated by a wide range of approaches including:

  1. Attempts to determine the physical origin of electroweak symmetry and the breaking of quark and lepton flavor symmetries;
  2. Numerical simulations of complex physical situations such as Quantum Chromodynamics and critical phenomena in Statistical Mechanics;
  3. The impact of particle physics on cosmology;
  4. The application of mathematics to quantum field theory, especially with the hope of developing a consistent, unified theory of all interactions, including gravity.