Aida X El-Khadra

Aida X El-Khadra
Aida X El-Khadra

Primary Research Area

  • High Energy Physics
(217) 333-5026
429 Loomis Laboratory


Professor Aida El-Khadra received her PhD in 1989 from the University of California, Los Angeles after obtaining a Diplom in Physics from the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany. She held postdoctoral research appointments at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Ohio State Univerity before joining the Illinois faculty in 1995. El-Khadra is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and a recipient of a Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics, a Fermilab Distinguished Scholar appointment, a Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and a Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, in addition to a number of other research and teaching honors. She currently chairs the Steering Committee of the Muon g-2 Theory Initiative. She is a member of the Particle Data Group and served as convener of the Theory Frontier for the 2021 Snowmass process, the particle physics community’s long-term planning exercise, which was organized by the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) and concluded in 2022. Other recent service highlights include the Editorial Board of Physical Review D, chair of the selection committee for the Kenneth G. Wilson Lattice Award for Excellence in Lattice Field Theory, the DPF executive committee, APS fellowship committees, chair of the USQCD Scientific Program Committee and member of the USQCD Executive Committee, as well as organizing and advisory committees for international workshops and conferences.

Prof. El-Khadra's area of research is theoretical particle physics. She works on the development of lattice field theory as a precision tool to quantify the nonperturbative effects of Quantum Chromodynamics (also known as the strong interactions) needed for the interpretation of measurements in high energy experiments. Her lattice QCD research includes a broad program calculations, which enable precision tests of the Standard Model or determinations of its fundamental parameters. A recent focus is on the hadronic corrections to the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon. Select highlights include semileptonic D- and Ds-meson form factors that yield the most precise determinations of the associated CKM matrix elements, |Vcs| and |Vcd| to date; the first lattice-QCD calculation of the semileptonic form factors for the B to D* transition at nonzero recoil momenta; precise predictions of the BBs, D , and Ds meson decay constants; the semileptonic Kaon form factor improving upon our knowledge of the CKM matrix element |Vus|; the complete set of semileptonic form factors for B-meson decays to pions, and kaons, yielding new interesting constraints on models of new physics; the complete set of the neutral B and Bs meson mixing matrix elements, yielding constraints on |Vtd|, |Vts|, and their ratio; the first precise calculation of the strong isospin breaking corrections to the hadronic vacuum polarization contribution to the muon 's anomalous magnetic moment. Earlier work includes the development of a theoretical framework for lattice actions of heavy quarks that is the foundation of many important, phenomenologically relevant lattice calculations as well as the first quantitative determination of the strong coupling from lattice QCD. A new research direction is the development of quantum simulations and computations to study novel quantum field theories relevant to high energy physics. 

Academic Positions

  • Professor, UIUC, August 2008-present
  • Associate Professor, UIUC, May 2001-August 2008
  • Assistant Professor, UIUC, August 1995-May 2001

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings


Teaching Honors

  • Collins Award for Innovative Teaching, College of Engineering, University of Illinois (2002)

Research Honors

  • Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics, Simons Foundation (2022)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2021)
  • Associate, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois (2019)
  • Distinguished Scholar, Fermilab (2016)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2011)
  • Associate, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois (2007)
  • Frontier Fellow, Fermilab (2002)
  • Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois (1998)
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research, College of Engineering, University of Illinois (1998)
  • Fellow, A. P. Sloan Foundation (1997)
  • Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, Department of Energy (1996)
  • Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (1988)

Recent Courses Taught

  • PHYS 123 - Physics Made Easy
  • PHYS 211 - University Physics: Mechanics
  • PHYS 213 - Univ Physics: Thermal Physics
  • PHYS 214 - Univ Physics: Quantum Physics
  • PHYS 470 - Subatomic Physics

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Fall 2023PHYS 213
Spring 2023PHYS 214
Fall 2018PHYS 213