UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

 

 

CHRISTOPHER KOLDA

 

Professor & Department Chair

Theoretical High-Energy Physics

 

Office:    228 Nieuwland Hall

Phone:     (574) 631-6823

Fax:       (574) 631-5952

Email:     ckolda@nd.edu

Biographical Info:

B.A. (Physics & Astronomy) Johns Hopkins University, 1990
M.S. (Physics) University of Michigan, 1992
Ph.D. (Physics) University of Michigan, 1995

Institute for Advanced Study, Member, 1995-1998
University of California, Berkeley, Research Fellow, 1998-2000
University of Notre Dame, Assistant Professor, 2000-2004
                                             Associate Professor, 2004 – 2011
                                             Professor, 2011 - present

University Positions, Committees & Awards

Chair, Department of Physics, 2013 - present
Member, Department Chairs Advisory Group, 2013 - present
Chair, Notre Dame ePortfolio Engagement Project (nDEEP) Steering Committee, 2011 – present
Advisory Board, Glynn Family Honors Program, 2008 – present
College of Science, College Council, 2009 - present
Associate Chair of Physics, 2012 – 2013
Provost Fellow, 2009 - 2011
Associate Chair of Physics & Director of Undergraduate Studies, 2006 – 2009
University Committee on the First Year of Studies, 2008 – 2009

Kaneb Faculty Teaching Award, 2005
Thomas P. Madden Award, 2007
Kaneb Faculty Fellow, 2008-09
Shilts/Leonard Award, College of Science, 2011

A more complete (but usually out-dated) web version of my CV can be found here.

Research Overview:    

My research centers on fundamental questions in physics: What is mass? Why is there any matter at all in the universe? What sets the scales and details of the forces observed in nature? In that vein, I study ideas that go beyond the “Standard Model” of high-energy physics. My particular interests are in the physics of the Higgs boson, a hypothetical (but now found?) particle whose existence is required by the Standard Model so that all other particles can have masses. Closely related, I study supersymmetry, a proposed symmetry of nature which connects the fermions (matter) to the bosons (force carriers)  in a mathematical framework which  is present in superstring/M-theories. Thus the discovery of supersymmetry, or SUSY as it is known, would radically challenge our standard view that objects and the forces that act on objects are somehow distinct, and it would be our strongest evidence yet for the existence of a more fundamental string theory that unifies gravity and quantum mechanics in an 11-dimensional spacetime. The job of finding SUSY now lies with the upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, to be completed in early 2015.

I also work on related topics in cosmology, including the source of the dark matter and dark energy in the universe, the origins of inflation in the early universe, and the effects of extra space dimensions on early universe cosmology.

Teaching:    

Physics 10310 - General Physics I & Lab
Physics 10342 - Modern Physics: Quarks to Quasars
Physics 10411 - General Physics A: Mechanics (for majors)
Physics 23411 - Sophomore Seminar
Physics 40453 - Quantum Mechanics I
Physics 40454 - Quantum Mechanics II
Physics 50445 - Astrophysics
Physics 50472 - Relativity: Special and General
Physics 70003 - Mathematical Methods in Physics
Physics 80601 - Elementary Particle Physics I

Science 10101 - Cosmos, Earth & Genome

Selected Publications:

Study of Constrained Supersymmetry, G. Kane, C. Kolda, L. Roszkowski and J. Wells, Phys. Rev. D49, 6173 (1994).
Experimental Consequences of a Minimal Messenger Model, K.S. Babu, C. Kolda, F. Wilczek, Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 3070 (1996).
Cosmology of One Extra Dimension with Localized Gravity, C. Csaki, M. Graesser, C. Kolda and J. Terning, Phys. Lett. B462, 34 (1999).
Higgs-mediated B0 ->
mu+mu- in Minimal Supersymmetry, K.S. Babu and C. Kolda, Phys. Rev.Lett. 84, 228 (2000).
A New Perspective on Cosmic Coincidence Problems,
N. Arkani-Hamed, L. Hall, C. Kolda and H. Murayama, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 4434 (2000).
Higgs-mediated
tau -> 3 mu in the supersymmetric seesaw model, K.S. Babu and C. Kolda . Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 241802 (2002).

A complete listing of my papers can be found on InSpire.