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Jim Rohlf

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Jim Rohlf

I am a professor at Boston University and an experimental high-energy physicist. I have been a member of the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider since 1994 and have worked full time on this project since 2000.

My scientific interest in the LHC is understanding the big-picture view of the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking — in short, why the W and Z have huge masses compared to the proton, giving the nuclear weak interaction a short range (which by the way is a good thing) while the photon is massless, giving the electromagnetic interaction an infinite range (another good thing). This is the LHC's true "raison d'être," although if nature is kind to us, we may observe other interesting physics.

My service work is in the domain of the hadron calorimeter, where our group has designed, built and maintained a significant portion of the readout electronics. 

I received my Ph.D. from Caltech in 1980 working on identification and measurement of jets produced in hadron collisions, the first experiment to trigger on a jet with a calorimeter, and comparison to electron-positron collisions (Observation of Jets of Particles at High Transverse Momentum and Comparison With Inclusive Single Particle Reactions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 38, 1447 (1977) and Experimental Tests of Quantum Chromodynamics in High p_T Jet Production in 200- GeV Hadron-Proton Collisions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 565 (1979)).

I worked at CLEO-I at Cornell as a Harvard postdoc on the discovery of the B-factory resonance (Observation of a Fourth Upsilon State in Electron-Positron Annihilations, Phys. Rev. Lett. 45, 218 (1980)), which led ultimately to the first reconstruction of exclusive B decays (Observation of Exclusive Decay Modes of B Flavored Mesons, Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 881 (1983)).

In 1981 as a Harvard assistant professor, I moved to CERN and began working on UA1, where we discovered the W (Experimental Observation of Isolated Large Transverse Energy Electrons With Associated Missing Energy at sqrt{s} = 540 GeV," Phys. Lett. B122, 103 (1983)) and Z (Experimental Observation of Lepton Pairs of Invariant Mass Around 95-GeV/c2 at the CERN SPS Collider," Phys. Lett. B126, 398 (1983)).

I wrote a physics text book: Modern Physics from α to Ζ0, Wiley (1994).