Professor Steve Errede received his Ph. D. in physics from The Ohio State University in 1981. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota, where he also was an electronics engineer in the Space Science Center, building electronics payloads for auroral sounding rockets. After working as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan on the IMB Proton Decay Experiment (1981-1984), he joined the physics faculty at the University of Illinois as an assistant professor. He advanced to associate professor in 1989 and to professor in 1992.
In his experimental particle physics research, Professor Errede gained international recognition for his successful leadership role in the Collider Detector Facility experiment at Fermilab. Although primarily known as the collaboration that "discovered" the top quark, the CDF group also made the first precision measurements of the Z and W boson masses, their decay branching ratios, and the observation of W-photon and Z-photon production in this process.
At the present, Professor Errede is part of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at the l'Organisation Europeanne pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. In June 2012, both ATLAS and CMS LHC experiments announced the discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson. Theorists who proposed the existence of the Higgs boson in 1964 - Peter W. Higgs and Francois Englert were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics. Measurements of the various properties of the Higgs boson are in progress, as well as searches for so-called "beyond-standard-model" physics, such as supersymmetry, dark matter, evidence of higher dimensions. Professor Errede's research group built a major portion the Scintillating Tile Hadronic Calorimeter for ATLAS.
In addition to his reputation as an outstanding researcher, Professor Errede is a truly exceptional teacher. Since coming to Urbana, he has guided over fifty outstanding undergraduate students in independent research projects. He has explained that it was his own "immensely beneficial" research experience as an undergraduate that led him to make a personal commitment to do his best to provide similar experiences for his own students. The range of projects he has guided is remarkable--from table-top axion search experiments, the chaotic motion of a leaking water faucet, experiments investigating the phenomenon of sonoluminescence, to materials physics issues related to elementary particle detection, to the use of laser interferometry to measure the Berry's phase and many more topics over the years.
Elementary Particle Physics - Experiment
The two main thrusts of high energy physics research are to determine the form and strength of the fundamental interactions of nature (EM, weak, strong) and to determine the properties of the matter particles that enter into these interactions. Our HEP research group(s) work on the CDF experiment at Fermilab (since 1984), and the ATLAS experiment at CERN (since 1994).
Collider Detector at the Fermilab Tevatron
The superconducting particle accelerator at Fermilab collides beams of protons and antiprotons at 2 TeV. The CDF collaboration has built a large detector to investigate the nature of the interactions that occur when these beams collide head-on. CDF carried out precision measurements of the properties of the W & Z bosons (mediators of the weak force), the top quark, and other elementary particles, such as mesons and baryons containing bottom and/or charmed quarks. Data-taking on CDF RunII has now ceased, however many physics analyses continue
ATLAS Detector at the CERN Large Hadron Collider
The LHC at CERN began its commissioning run in late 2009. It is designed to collide two beams of protons at a center-of-mass energy of 14 TeV, seven times that of the Fermilab Tevatron. LHC Run I started out at 7 TeV, then increased to 8 TeV. Currently the LHC is in Long Shutdown I, LHC Run II will commence early in 2015, initially at 13 TeV and hopefully ultimately will be running soon thereafter at its design CM energy of 14 TeV. The LHC physics program is envisaged to run for at least two decades, in which many precision measurements of Standard Model processes will be carried out at this new energy frontier, including detailed measurements of the properties of the Higgs boson, and searches for beyond-the-Standard Model phenomena - supersymmetry, dark matter, higher dimensions, etc. will be carried out. Our UIUC ATLAS HEP group played a major role in R&D, the design, construction, installation and commissioning of the ATLAS Scintillating Tile Hadron Calorimeter. We built nearly 200 TileCal submodules, and production-tested 2000 photomultiplier tubes that are used in the readout of the TileCal (1/5 of 10K total PMT's)