Benjamin Hooberman

Assistant Professor


Benjamin Hooberman

Primary Research Area

  • High Energy Physics
413 Loomis Laboratory


Professor Hooberman received his Ph.D in physics from the University of California at Berkeley (2009) after obtaining a bachelor's degree from Columbia University (2005). After receiving his Ph.D, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (2009-2014), where he was a member of the CMS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). He joined the University of Illinois in 2014 as an assistant professor.

Professor Hooberman is an experimental physicist whose research focuses on using particle colliders to probe exotic new physics scenarios, including supersymmetric models and extra dimensions of spacetime. He is particularly interested in using data from colliders to investigate and understand dark matter.

His research began in the field of experimental cosmology, and focused on using measurements of the left-over radiation from the big bang (the "cosmic microwave background radiation") to better understand the evolution history of the universe. He transitioned to experimental particle physics in graduate school, where he searched for exotic new physics phenomena at the BaBar experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and performed detector research and development and physics simulation studies for a future high-energy lepton collider. As a research associate at Fermilab and a member of the CMS collaboration at the LHC, he searched for exotic new particles that are predicted by supersymmetric models and may explain the presence of dark matter in the universe. He continues these research topics as a member of the ATLAS collaboration at the LHC as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois.

Research Interests

  • Extra dimensions of space
  • Research and development of novel silicon tracking sensor technologies
  • Supersymmetry and the potential connection with dark matter
  • Experimental high-energy particle physics at the Large Hadron Collider

Research Statement

The Large Hadron Collider is currently offline to allow for upgrades that will increase the maximum achievable collision energy. New data will be collected starting in 2015, at the highest collision energy ever achieved at a particle collider. This data will allow us to probe uncharted territory and may allow for discoveries that transform our understanding of the composition of the universe and the fundamental forces. As a member of the ATLAS collaboration at the LHC, I am currently preparing for the upcoming data, which I will use to search for a range of exotic new physics phenomena, including supersymmetric particles and dark matter.

In order to fully exploit the physics potential of the LHC over the next several years, upgrades to the ATLAS detector are required. In particular, the inner detector will be replaced with an all-Silicon tracking detector. I am participating in simulation studies of key physics processes that will be used to guide and optimize the detector design.

Research Honors

  • CMS/LHC Physics Center Fellowship (Jan 2013)

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Related news

  • Research
  • High Energy Physics

On the night of May 21, 2015, at CERN in Switzerland, protons collided in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the record-breaking energy of 13 TeV for the first time. These test collisions were to set up systems that protect the machine and detectors from particles that stray from the edges of the beam.


Illinois high-energy physicist Mark Neubauer comments, “While these were test collisions to help commission critical systems at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), it was the first time that proton-proton collisions have been achieved at this energy. This important milestone sets the stage for a physics run in early June that will be the beginning of a journey at this unprecedented energy to discover new physics beyond the standard model.

"Possible discoveries include observations of new particles or symmetries, elucidation of the nature of dark matter, a deeper understanding of the origin of particle masses, or unexpected new phenomena in the spirit of exploration in fundamental physics.”