Shreya Chakdar, visiting assistant professor in physics and astronomy, has been named a KITP Scholar by the University of California Santa Barbara. KITP, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, targets its scholar’s program specifically for physics professors at primarily undergraduate institutions and invites them to make three two-week visits to the institute over three years. Chakdar, a theoretical particle physicist, works on phenomenological investigations of data collected by experiments at the Large-Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. In particular, she is interested in searches for signals of new physics that go beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

“I have worked on building mathematical models and analyzing them by various computational and statistical methods during the past 10 years,” Chadkar said. She has built models on Higgs physics, low-scale unification, supersymmetry, left-right symmetry models, parallel universe, neutrinos, and dark matter to develop new ideas and formalisms to solve the inherent problems of the Standard Model and thus gain valuable insights about the ultimate theory of nature.

Using theoretical physics and fundamental scientific research, “we make advancement towards our basic understanding of the universe and seed the technologies of tomorrow,” Chakdar explains. “Since all kinds of technology rely on the laws of nature, the better we understand the laws the better and more powerful technologies can be created. Solar cells, computers, the Internet, wireless technologies, diagnostic imaging are all rooted in breakthroughs made by theoretical physicists.”

Scholars can schedule their time at KIPT, a pioneering scientific research facility, to coincide with workshops or conferences that match their interests or they can go there to work and interact with the permanent members and visitors at the institute.

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