There's no sense in going further -- it's the edge of cultivation,"
So they said, and I believed it -- broke my land and sowed my crop -
Built my barn and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop:
Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated -- so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and wating for you. Go!"
Rudyard Kipling,The Explorer (1898)
Experimental elementary particle physics: I am on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. My present work centers on the exploration of the Higgs boson, particularly the decay of the Higgs into a b b-bar pair, which is a challenging final state. Previous work has been on the cross section for Wb at the LHC, and before that an examination of Standard Model production cross sections at the LHC. I am currently engaged in the design of an upgrade to the ATLAS muon system, the New Small Wheel.
Previous work on ATLAS and the LHC include the development of grid computing for the LHC experiments, and the design and implementation of electronics for the muon spectrometer.
Prior to ATLAS, I worked on the CDF experiment at Fermilab, first as a QCD convener, and then on the discovery of the top quark.
Cultures of navigation: This is a more recent interest of mine, which combines physics, earth and planetary science, cognitive psychology, the neurosciences, anthropology and history. I am interested in how humans have been able to develop science-like navigational cultures, e.g. Polynesian seafaring, and the Norse feats of navigation in the North Atlantic. This is the subject of a new book, "The Lost Art of Finding Our Way," and the topic of a course I teach, Primitive Navigation.
Other interests: Somewhat related to navigation is the biochemical mechanism that appears to allow birds to navigate by sensing the earth's magnetic field, which is curious, given the weakness of the earth's field.