After nearly a year of work, the ATHENA Proto-Collaboration has submitted its proposal for an Electron-Ion Collider )EIC) detector at Interaction Point 6 (IP6) of the future EIC. SMU’s contributions, in partnership with colleagues at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and University of California-Riverside, were well-represented in the nearly 100-page document. The focus […]
Author: Stephen Sekula
Professor of Physics. Department Chair. Higgs Hunter. Computational Physicist. Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. B.S. from Yale University.
Big News! “Reality in the Shadows (or) What the Heck’s the Higgs” (“Heck” for short) becomes an Amazon Kindle e-book on Nov. 1! The e-book is available for pre-order until then, so if you’ve been curious about the universe, curious about this book, or just want an electronic copy of the paperback, you can pre-order […]
Promotion to the rank of Full Professor
I am pleased to report that as of September 1, 2021 I have been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. This positively concludes a process that began in 2020 with a departmental, then college, then university level review of my candidacy for this promotion. I am extremely grateful to my department for initiating and […]
The Physics of Cartoons
The theme of the Fall 2021 PHYS 1010 (Honors Introductory Physics) theme is unveiled in the trailer posted to Twitter and on the course website: the physics of cartoons! More information about the course will be posted later, but as of now this may be the largest class of students ever enrolled in this course, […]
The global nuclear and particle physics communities received wonderful news today: the Electron-Ion Collider project, to be sited at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), achieved “CD-1” project status from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A news release on this subject was made available by BNL. CD-1, or “Critical Decision 1,” is the first most serious […]
Rising junior and Biophysical Science major, Stephanie Gilchrist, was awarded an SMU Hamilton Research Scholar Award to support her proposed research on the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) during the summer of 2021. Her proposed research is to study and employ simulated particle identification systems and observe their impact on the selection of charm-quark-initiated jets. The ability […]
Congratulations to senior Jared Burleson, who graduates from SMU with a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in Mathematics, and a Minor in Chinese. Jared and I have worked together since 2018 on two physics projects, both centered on the use of particle jets for fundamental physics. His first project was an extension of work done […]
Last summer, my colleagues Miguel Arratia, Yulia Furletova, Tim Hobbs, Fred Olness, and I submitted to Physical Review D our article on using reconstructed and identified charm jets to probe the proton’s intrinsic strangeness. We envisioned this approach, modeled on a beautiful analysis published by the ZEUS Collaboration in 2019, as part of a large […]
I was very honored to be asked to participate in the Highland Park High School (HPHS) “SciFest” last year. At that event, I gave a talk about becoming a particle physicist, using my own story, and described what life as a physicist can be like. I was invited to participate again this year, but with […]
The latest edition of the Dedman College newsletter is out, and my article on teaching during the pandemic is now available! In this short article, I review how the physics department pivoted from spring to summer, and then to fall, to meet the demands of teaching and the pandemic.