Physics 135c
Non-Accelerator Experimental Particle Physics
Spring, 2007
Course Homepage


Ph135c is a seminar course in various and sundry topics in non-accelerator particle physics such as dark matter, double-beta decay, searches for electron and neutron electric dipole moments, neutrino oscillations, ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, etc.  The name is a bit of a misnomer, as we will include some accelerator-based topics.  But the point is to cover areas that might not be seen in a typical particle physics course but which are of growing importance to the overlap between particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics.  We will especially be focused on work that is sensitive to new physics beyond the standard model.

The course is aimed at upperclass undergraduates and first-year graduate students who would like to have a better idea of what is going on in current research on these topics.  Older students, postdocs, etc. are welcome, too.  Younger undergraduates may attend if they can demonstrate sufficient background knowledge to keep up with the class.

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Vital Information

Location: 469 Lauritsen NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION
Time: TuF 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm NOTE CHANGE OF DAY
Prof. Sunil Golwala, 311 Downs, Mail Code 59-33, golwala at
Teaching Assistants: Sean Tulin, 02 Kellogg, Mail Code 106-38, tulin at
Office Hours: By appointment.

Course Material, Plan, Grading, and References

The class material will be adapted to class's interests.  Here are some topics we could cover:
This course will be run in seminar/journal club fashion, focusing primarily on reading and presenting recent papers -- reviews and original work -- on the topics we will cover.  Most classes will be occupied with student presentations and discussion of the assigned papers.  Grades will be based on the presentations and class participation.  There will be no homework sets or exams.

A basic background in particle physics will help, but a rigorous one is not needed.  I will spend the first week lecturing on general background information.  Some texts will be placed on reserve at the library to help you get up to speed (below), but even the most recent texts are rather old and so do not cover the most recent developments. 
Some good reviews on supersymmetry:
Dark Matter:
Extra Dimensions:
References on neutrinos:
Related topics:
You may also find it useful to read the relevant review sections in the Particle Data Group's Review of Particle Properties (2006), available here.  Especially useful will be the following sections (links are to PDFs):
As a final important point, please don't feel obligated to learn every theoretical detail about the topics we study.  The working experimentalist usually chooses topics to work on not through an incredibly detailed understanding of the theory, but by relatively simple considerations of what kind of experiments are important to do and also enjoyable to work on.  The fine level appreciation of the theory usually only comes later after many years of working in a field.

Presentation Guidelines

Aim your presentation for senior undergrads/first year grad students -- people with a basic knowledge of classical and quantum physics, but no other significant background material.  Physics colloquia are a good example of the right level.  Don't feel obligated to explain everything from first principles, but explain enough that your listener can follow along the line of reasoning behind a given topic.

Focus at least half of your time on how the experiments are done, especially why they are hard and what clever things the experimentalists have had to do to achieve their goals.

If possible, make your presentations electronically so we can easily post them online (PPT or PDF only).  Otherwise, you will have to scan them for posting.  All the rooms we use will have electronic projectors.

Make an appointment with me or Sean to discuss the material well ahead of your presentation slot.  You will no doubt have many questions after a first reading of the material, we can help you work through those.  We don't need to review your presentations (which, no doubt, you will be working on the night before), but we do want to help you understand the material and to focus your presentations on the most interesting parts.

We will do Q&A in the following manner.  Questions are welcome during the presentations -- the more interruptions, the better.  The speaker may not have the answers immediately, so we will have a recording secretary for each session document all the questions and forward them to the speaker.  The speaker should dig up the answers as best he/she can by the next class session and we can spend the first 30 minutes of the next class answering those questions, and any others that may have occurred to the audience in between the two sessions.  After this is done, the speaker should provide a written listing of the questions and answers for posting on the web page.

Course Calendar, Reading Materials, and Topic Assignment

Note: links may be to e-journals for which Caltech has a subscription.  You will need to be on the Caltech campus network or log in through the library proxy service to access these.

Tuesday Class
Friday Class
Mar 27
Course Plan
Review of Standard Model
Brief Summary of Candidate Topics
(instructor lecture)
Slides (pdf)
(updated 3/30/07)
Mar 30
Universal Extra Dimensions
(instructor lecture)
Slides (pdf)
Apr 3
Apr 6
Apr 10
Example presentation by TA Sean Tulin
469 Lauritsen starting today
Talk (notes and ppt) and answers to questions
QuickTime movie
Secretary: Sunil Golwala
Apr 13
Apr 17
Electron g-2
Nick Hutzler
QuickTime Movie
measurement paper
interpretation paper
Nature blurb
Odom dissertation
review of theoretical calculations
Secretary: Ersen Bilgin
Apr 20
Neutron EDM
Matt Eichenfield
no questions to be posted
QuickTime Movie
SNS nEDM Experiment Proposal
Best Current Limits
Secretary: Alex Himmel
Apr 24
Astronomical Evidence for Dark Matter
Matt Ferry
QuickTime Movie
bullet cluster movie
movie simulating evolution of cluster
Secretary: Gary Cheng
Refs: See Dark Matter refs
Apr 27
WIMP/Neutralino Dark Matter
Direct Detection and/or Accelerator Signatures
Chris Rogan
QuickTime Movie
Secretary: Nick Hutzler
Refs: See Dark Matter refs
Also: CDMS II recent results (spin-ind, spin-dep)
XENON recent results talks (Aprile, Gaitskell)
WARP recent results
May 1
David Moore
QuickTime Movie
Secretary: Chelsea Sharon
Refs: See Dark Matter refs
May 1/4
Exotic Dark Matter Candidates
Ersen Bilgin
QuickTime Movie Session 1
QuickTime Movie Session 2
Secretary: Dalziel Wilson
Refs: See Bertone, Hooper, and Silk for short summary and
refs on such candidates
Kusenko on sterile neutrinos is esp. interesting
May 4
Muon g-2
Caryn Bullard
QuickTime Movie
Secretary: Ning Bao
Davier, Marciano, theory review
Hertzog, Morse, experimental review
Stockinger more recent review
May 8
Neutrino Theory
Alex Himmel
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Prashant Saraswat, Ning Bao
Refs: See Neutrino Refs above

May 11

May 15
Precision Tests of Short-Range Gravity
Justus Brevik
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Michael Mendenhall
Adelberger, Heckel, Nelson Experimental Review
UWash group recent results 1
UWash group recent results 2
Stanford group recent results
Recent Casimir effect measurement
May 15/18
Double Beta Decay
Michael Mendenhall
Quicktime movie 1
Quicktime movie 2
Secretary: Justus Brevik
Refs: See Neutrino Refs above
May 18
Prashant Saraswat/Ning Bao
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Sunil Golwala
Dine and Kusenko Review
Evidence for matter-domination
Dolgov Review
Trodden EW Baryogenesis
Buchmuller Review
May 22
TeV Gamma-Ray Astronomy,
incl. WIMP annihilation
Chelsea Sharon
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Matt Eichenfield
Ong review paper
See also Bertone, Hooper, and Silk for a starting point on WIMP annihilation
Bertone summary paper
May 22/25
Neutrino Astronomy
incl. WIMP annihilation
Scott Wilbur
Quicktime movie 1
Quicktime movie 2
Secretary: Caryn Bullard
Halzen review paper
Hooper review paper
See also Bertone, Hooper, and Silk for a starting point on WIMP annihilation
May 25
UHE Cosmic Rays
Dalziel Wilson
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Matt Ferry
Torres, Anchordorqui review paper
HiRes Experiment website @ Columbia
Recent HiRes results on GZK cutoff
Comparison of AGASA, HiRes, and Auger spectral measurements
Auger Observatory website
Auger Observatory Progress Report
(see references therein)
May 29
Extra Dimensions
Prashant Saraswat, Ning Bao
Quicktime movie
Secretary: Chris Rogan
Refs: See Extra Dimensions Refs
May 29/Jun 1
Tests for CPT Violation
Michael Kolodrubetz
Quicktime movie 1
Quicktime movie 2
Secretary: Scott Wilbur
Kostolecky web page
Hooper et al paper on Lorentz and CPT violation in high-energy neutrinos
See Michael's web page for more
Jun 1
Neutrino Oscillations
Gary Cheng
Quicktime movie
Secretary: David Moore
Refs: See Neutrino Refs above

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