Research interests: Brooks’ work as a theoretical particle physicist is primarily focused on identifying the nature and properties of the mysterious dark matter in our universe. Overwhelming evidence now indicates that the majority of the matter in the universe is not only “dark,” in the sense that it does not interact appreciably with electromagnetic radiation, but also is not composed of “normal” atomic matter at all. In fact, it appears to be something completely beyond the scope of what our Standard Model of particle physics can explain!
As this puzzling picture has crystallized, the quest to understand the nature of dark matter has given birth to an interdisciplinary effort uniting researchers in a diverse range of fields including astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics, collider physics, neutrino physics, condensed-matter physics, and particle theory. One of Brooks’ primary aims as a dark-matter theorist is to examine the dark-matter question from as broad a perspective and within as general a framework as experimental data allow. This means considering the full range of viable possibilities for addressing the dark-matter question — especially those which challenge some of the typical assumptions about the nature and properties of the dark matter.
In addition to dark matter, his research interests extend over a broad range of topics in particle theory and phenomenology. These include Higgs-boson physics, supersymmetry theory and phenomenology, and the origin of the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in our universe.
Ethan Garvey ’19 and Aditi Desai ’20 were Brooks’ research assistants in summer 2018.