Nikos Varelas: Research  

2_c.gif   Ph.D. Experimental Particle Physics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, 1994

2_c.gif    B.S. Physics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, 1985

Biographical Sketch (2014)


My area of research is experimental Particle Physics or High Energy Physics (HEP).   I conduct my research at the CMS experiment (also USCMSLPC) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC, LHC Guide) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and the D-Zero experiment (aerial view & zoom view) at the Tevatron proton-antiproton Collider (also here) at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab - aerial view) in Batavia, Illinois, USA.  I serve as the co-Spokesperson of the Coordinated Theoretical-Experimental Project on QCD (CTEQ) Collaboration (2013-present).   I have previously worked on the fixed-target, direct-photon experiment E706 at Fermilab, and on the axion-search experiment E141 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California, USA.

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment consists of a collaboration of  more than 3500 scientists from over 180 institutions in 42 countries.   The CMS Detector (photo book) was commissioned in Fall 2008.  My group's technical contributions have been on the Level-1 Calorimeter and High Level Trigger Systems.  My physics interests has focused on QCD studiesHiggs Boson, and searches for Quark Compositeness (NSF Highlight and Fermilab Today).  I served as co-Convener of the Jets & Missing ET Physics Object Group (2007) and as co-Convener of the QCD Physics Analysis Group (2008-2009).  Results from the QCD Group can be found here.  Results from the Higgs Group can be found here.  I served as a member of the CMS Publications Committee (2010-2011).  The CMS publications can be found here. An important milestone of CMS was the discovery (along with the ATLAS experiment) of a new particle consistent with a Higgs Boson at a mass of approximately 125 GeV.

The D-Zero experiment consists of a collaboration (photo 1 and 2) of about 650 scientists from Universities and Laboratories in 18 countries.  The experiment was commissioned in 1992, and completed a very successful first run (Run I with proton-antiproton center of mass energy of 1.8 TeV) in 1996.  An important milestone of D-Zero's Run I was the co-discovery (along with the CDF experiment) of the top quark (more here) in March 1995 (more here and Ten Year Anniversary of the top-quark discovery).  After a major upgrade of both the Fermilab accelerator complex and the D-Zero detector (design pictures and photo), the experiment started its 2nd run (Run II with proton-antiproton center of mass energy of 1.96 TeV) in 2001 and it was completed in 2011.  The upgraded D-Zero detector was an extremely powerful instrument for precision studies of the Standard Model (more here and here) and searches for the Higgs boson (more here) and signatures of new physics.  The Tevatron was shut down on Sep. 30, 2011.  The Tevatron Milestones can be found here.

My physics interests at D-Zero included studies of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) with W and Z bosons (more about W & Z bosons here), high-pt Jet Physics, Jet Substructure, QCD Color Coherence Effects (publications), searches for the Higgs boson and for Quark Compositeness.  I served as co-Convener of the Higgs Physics Group (2003-2004) and co-Convener of the QCD Physics Group in Run I (1995-1997).  The D-Zero publications on QCD can be found here and on Higgs searches here.  

My technical contributions to D-Zero were on the Trigger System.  My group at UIC was responsible for the development and commissioning of the Level-2 Calorimeter Trigger for Run II.  The group was also involved in the development and commissioning of the Level-1 Calorimeter Trigger upgrade for the 2nd part of Run II.  I served as Trigger Coordinator for the D-Zero experiment (2004-2006), co-Project Manager of the Trigger Upgrade for Run II (2000-2001), and Chair of the Trigger Board (2002-2003).

I have been elected a member of the Executive Committee of the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields (1/2012-12/2014) and a member of the  Users Executive Committee (UEC) at Fermilab (2011-2014).  I am currently serving as the Chair of UEC and I served as Chair of the UEC Outreach subcommittee (2011-2012).  Photos from my trip to Washington D.C. with the UEC in March 2012 can he found here: in front of the US Capitol and in a meeting with Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu.  Photos from my trip to Washington D.C. with the UEC in March 2013 can he found here: in front of the US Capitol, in front of the West Wing of the White House, and in a meeting with Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu.


Nobel Prize in Physics 2013: Higgs Boson


Observation of a New Particle Consistent with a Higgs Boson - 04 July 2012


LHC Operates at 8 TeV - 05 April 2012

LHC Operates at 7 TeV - 30 March 2010

LHC Beam(s) Pass from CMS - Nov. 2009

LHC First Beam Event: 10.09.08


International Linear Collider




UIC High Energy Web Page


My Publication List and Citations/h-index from SPIRES  

"Scientists Find Predicted Way to Produce Puzzling Particle", UIC News, March 11, 2014
"A University Discovery: The Higgs Boson"
, The Ampersand, December 2013
"Physicists Celebrate Nobel Prize to Higgs Boson Scientists", UIC News, October 8, 2013

"UIC's Helping Hands Put Higgs Particle Within Scientists' Grasp", UIC News, July 11, 2012
"Understanding the Search for the Higgs Boson: A Primer for Civilians"
, AtLAS, July 2012.

"The Quark is the Thing"
, (Search for Quark Compositeness) NSF Highlight, May 2012.

"Backscatter Microscopes"
, (Search for Quark Compositeness) Fermilab Today, Mar 16, 2012.

"UIC Pysicists on Higgs Hunt"
, UIC NEWS, Dec 14, 2011.

"LHC @ 7 TeV"
, UIC NEWS, Apr 7, 2010.

"UIC @ CMS", CMS TIMES, Nov 27, 2006.
"When a Z Boson Has Company", Fermilab Today, Jan 19, 2006.
"Search for the Smallest Constituents of Matter", UIC TODAY Newspaper, Apr 4-5, 2002.


Selected Presentations:

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