Timothy Tait

Timothy Tait

Physics & astronomy assistant professor
Q: What is your involvement in the LHC?

A: As a theoretical physicist, I'm involved in the LHC mostly in a support role. I explore theories that predict new phenomena at the LHC and help my experimental colleagues devise strategies to search for them in the data. As discoveries come in, I will work to understand them in terms of the big picture, looking to understand nature at the smallest length scales.

Q: What do you hope to learn?

A: I hope to learn the answers to two of the biggest questions confronting particle physics - how the particles we see around us get their masses, and the identity of the mysterious dark matter particle that fills the universe.

Q: How might this knowledge benefit the public?

A: Deeper understanding of physics at very small scales has the potential to radically redefine the way we see the universe and our place inside it. In the very far future, I think our discoveries are likely to directly impact technology, and in the short future there are many spin-off benefits such as powerful magnets and ways to exchange large amounts of information (the Web is one such example from the recent past).

Q: Why are you personally interested?

A: I like to understand the big picture, to catch a glimpse of the fundamental organizing principles that explain why the universe looks the way it does. Putting all the information we have together into a clear picture is like working on a puzzle or a mystery, and getting insights into the solution is deeply satisfying.