Mark Neubauer



Mark Neubauer

Primary Research Area

  • High Energy Physics
411 Loomis Laboratory


Professor Neubauer received his Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania (2001). After receiving his Ph.D, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001-2004) and the University of California, San Diego (2004-2007). Professor Neubauer joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in Fall 2007.

Professor Neubauer is an experimental physicist whose research has spanned a diverse set of topics in the study of elementary particles and their interactions. The ultimate goal of this pursuit is to gain a deeper understanding of Nature at its most fundamental level and to elucidate the physics that lies beyond the standard model.

His research began as a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania working on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment, which was designed to resolve the long-standing deficit of solar ne observed in previous experiments. His Ph.D. thesis, Evidence for neFlavor Change Through Measurement of the 8B Solar n Flux at SNO demonstrated in 2001 that ~2/3 of solar neutrinos change flavor before detection on Earth, which can occur if neutrinos have non-zero mass and mixing. This result was published soon thereafter in a Phys. Rev. Lett. article

As a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and then UCSD, he conducted research at the current energy frontier provided by proton-antiproton collisions at the Fermilab Tevatron. As member of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiment, he made important contributions to heavy flavor and high-pt physics, including searches for the Higgs boson and new physics. In 2002, he and colleagues at MIT undertook a complete re-design of the CDF analysis computing model, out of which emerged the CDF Analysis Facility (CAF), for which he served as project leader from 2002 to 2004. He played a leading role in the study of electroweak dibosons at CDF as convener of the Diboson Physics Group (2006-2007). In 2006, he led the first-ever observation of WZ diboson production. In 2007, he and colleagues provided the first evidence for ZZ production at a hadron collider.

As a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider, Professor Neubauer contributed to discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

Research Statement

Particle physics is embarking on a journey of exploration of the energy frontier with the turn-on of Run II at the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. At the LHC, protons are collided together with 13 TeV of center of mass energy. My research is broadly focused on searches for new phenomena at the LHC. Professor Neubauer's Group is developing electronics for the ATLAS Fast Hardware Tracker (FTK) system which will provide high-quality tracks from the silicon hit information for use in trigger decision and downstream processing. I am also involved in a number of computing projects for scientific research, including principle investigator for the ATLAS Tier-2 cluster at Illinois -- one of three clusters in the Midwest Tier-2 which is the largest LHC Tier-2 in the world, a member of the Open Science Grid Executive Team, and co-PI for the conceptualization of a Scientific Software Innovation Institute for high-energy physics.

Research Honors

  • Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, 2016 (2016)
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, 2013 (2013)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study (University of Illinois), 2012-2013 (2012-2013)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2011 (2011)
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 2008-2009 (2008)
  • Arnold O. Beckman Research Award, 2007 (2007)

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Fall 2014PHYS 487

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • Research
  • High Energy Physics

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its launch of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High-Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP). The $25 million software-focused institute will tackle the unprecedented torrent of data that will come from the high-luminosity running of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator located at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) will provide scientists with a unique window into the subatomic world to search for new phenomena and to study the properties of the Higgs boson in great detail. The 2012 discovery at the LHC of the Higgs boson—a particle central to our fundamental theory of nature—led to the Nobel Prize in physics a year later and has provided scientists with a new tool for further discovery.

The HL-LHC will begin operations around 2026, continuing into the 2030s. It will produce more than 1 billion particle collisions every second, from which only a tiny fraction will reveal new science, because the phenomena that physicists want to study have a very low probability per collision of occurring. The HL-LHC’s tenfold increase in luminosity—a measure of the number of particle collisions occurring in a given amount of time—will enable physicists to study familiar processes at an unprecedented level of detail and observe rare new phenomena present in nature.

  • 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.”