NOTA BENE! This site is no longer maintained and lives on at https://steve.cooleysekula.net/.

Latest News

  • A New Adventure – from SMU to SNOLAB
    I write this last news item with a heavy heart: after July 31, 2022, I will no longer be on the faculty at SMU. My […]
  • Congratulations, 2022 Graduates!
    I am thrilled to congratulate the seven Biophysical Science and Physics degree recipients, who graduated in May 2022! This year our department saw the second […]


Portrait photoI served as a Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at SMU from August 2009 until August 2022, and was Chair of the Department of Physics from 2020-2022. While at SMU, my research focus was primarily the study of the Higgs particle. I was a member of the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) Experiment located at the Large Hadron Collider, a research facility hosted by the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. IMy focus was the study of the interactions of the Higgs particle with the second-heaviest building block of matter, the bottom quark, to learn what it can teach us about the origin of the universe. I participated in two major discoveries about the Higgs particle: the measurement of its spin-parity quantum numbers using Higgs decays to four leptons (particles like the electron) and the first ever observation of the Higgs directly interacting with quarks. I was also a leader in the growing community of nuclear and particle physicists engaged in planning for the Electron-Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory. I coordinated the study the identification of quark-initiated jets in the context of the ATHENA (A Totally Hermetic Electron-Nucleus Apparatus) experiment proposal. Members of ATHENA and other proposals joined forces in 2022 to initiate “Detector I” at the EIC. In addition to my research, I taught physics at SMU, including introductory physics and modern physics, honors physics, and a teaching practicum for graduate students. I was an SMU Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor. I am a co-author of the book “Reality in the Shadows (or) What the Heck’s the Higgs,” aimed to help a general audience understand the big questions facing physics. I am also authoring other books, including a series meant to interest the general public and help college students find greater context for those challenging introductory level courses. Check out “The Friendly Physics Guides to … ” available from Amazon!

After July of 2022, I left the faculty at SMU to move to Sudbury, Canada, where my spouse and colleague Dr. Jodi Cooley began her first term as Executive Director of SNOLAB.

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Curriculum Vitae

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