Chunhui Chen's Home Page

I am an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Iowa State University. My research is in experimental high energy particle physics. I received my Ph.D from University of Pennsylvania in 2003 working on the CDF II (Collider Detector at Fermilab) experiment. My thesis work is the measurement of prompt charm meson production cross section in ppbar collision at sqrt{s}=1.96TeV, which is the first Fermilab Tevatron Run II result published in Physics Review Letter. A brief description on the measurement can be also found in Fermilab Today .

Currently my main research project is the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) experiment. ATLAS detector is 44 metres long and 25 metres in diameter, weighing about 7,000 tonnes. It is one of thw two general purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland. When two 7 TeV proton beams colide at the LHC, its unprecedented energy and extremely high rate of collisions produce some rare phenomena that involve highly massive particles which were not observable using earlier generations of the accelerators. With the powerful ATLAS and CMS detector at CERN, finally we will be able to shed on the Higgs bosen, the final missing piece of the Standard Model that allows the other fundamental particles to aquire masses, as well as the new theories of particle physics beyond the Standard Model.

I am also involved in the BaBar experiment that is located at the SLAC National Accelerator Center, near Stanford University, in California. At the beginning of the Universe, the big-bang theory predicts the creation of an equal amount of particles and anti-particles. But in everyday life we do not encounter anti-particles. The question, therefore, is "What has happened to the anti-particles?" The primary motivation of the BaBar experiment is to study the violation of charge and parity (CP) symmetry. This violation manifests itself as different behavior between particles and anti-particles and is the first step to explain the absence of anti-particles in everyday life. To achieve this goal, the BaBar experiment exploits the 9.1 GeV electron beam and the 3 GeV positron beam of the PEP-II accelerator. The two beams collide in the center of the experiment, producing Y(4S) mesons that decay into equal numbers of B and anti-B mesons and allows us to perform precise measurement of CP violation effect using B meson decays.

In 2008, half of the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa for their theory which simultaneously explained the source of matter/antimatter asymmetries in particle interactions and predicted the existence of the third generation of fundamental particles. The BaBar experiment together with the Belle experiment at KEK in Japan, recently provided experimental confirmation of the theory, some thirty years after it was published, through precision measurements of matter/antimatter asymmetries. For detail, please see articles at Babar statement  SLAC Today  Nature  Science  Symmetry Magazine.

While at BaBar, I had served as the on-site system coordinator for the Silicon Vertex Tracker. My main physics analysis focus at BaBar is in the area of CP violation in B meson decays, primarily connected with the measurement of the CKM angle beta. I also initiated and carried out analyses to search for the new physics beyond the Standard Model (SM) using charm meson decays.

For more information of the high energy physics research program at Iowa State University, please check our HEP webpage.

Present Postal Address:
Department of Physics and Astronomy
12 Physics Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011
Zaffarano, Room A423

Selected Publication:


visited 18 states (8%)
Create your own visited map of The World

visited 33 states (66%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Last modified by Chunhui Chen on:

Send e-mail and comment to