The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led by physicist Ken Bloom, oversees distribution of $51 million in National Science Foundation funds for one of two massive detectors at the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile ring beneath the border between Switzerland and France where particles are accelerated to nearly the speed of light before being smashed together to better understand their behavior. The university’s contributions to the atom smasher date back to the 1990s. High-tech parts for the Compact Muon Solenoid detector are manufactured at a laboratory on the UNL campus.
Bloom is an experimental particle physicist, with interests in top-quark physics, weak interactions and the Higgs boson. He’s been involved with particle-physics researcher for more than 25 years. He is among UNL physicists who work on the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. In December 2021, he was appointed deputy manager for operations for the Compact Muon Solenoid, one of two massive detectors in use at the Large Hadron Collider. The position makes Bloom responsible for overseeing the distribution of $51 million in National Science Foundation funding for Large Hadron Collider research.
Claes, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, part of the Experimental High Energy Physics group, which studies the fundamental constituents of matter at the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator laboratories. His research interests include new phenomena beyond the Standard Model, including evidence of supersymmetry; b-tagging and the search for Standard Model Higgs; cosmic rays; and neutrino studies and direct dark matter searches. He is co-founder of the Cosmic Ray Observatory Project, a high school outreach effort.