BaerHoward.gif (1079 bytes)
Department of Physics
University of Oklahoma
315 Nielsen Hall
Norman, OK 73019-2061

Phone:  (405) 325-3961 ext. 36315
    Fax: (405) 325-7557

Position: Homer L. Dodge Professor of High Energy Physics

  BS: Univ. of Wisconsin (1979)
 MS: Univ. of Wisconsin (1981)
PhD: Univ. of Wisconsin (1984)

Research Interests:

I work in the area of theoretical physics of elementary particles. My main research interest focuses on physics beyond the Standard Model. I am especially interested in theories including weak scale supersymmetry. I work on issues related to tests of this class of particle physics models at colliding beam experiments. I also work on determining the identity and properties of the cold dark matter produced in the early universe, and prospects for its direct and indirect detection. Xerxes Tata and I have recently published a text entitled ``Weak Scale Supersymmetry: From Superfields to Scattering Events''. This may be ordered from Cambridge University press from the link below. With Xerxes Tata and Frank Paige, we have developed the event generator ISAJET to simulate superparticle production and decay at pp, ppbar and e+e- colliders. I also work on developing supersymmetric models, and their consequences for non-accelerator experiments and cosmology.

ISAJET homepage

Dirac symposium

Weak Scale Supersymmetry: From Superfields to Scattering Events

Beta version of 7.84, Oct. 7, 2013

Top quark, QCD and collider physics:

I have always been most interested in the interface between theory and experiment, and this has led me to investigate a variety of Standard Model (SM) processes with regard to their implications for collider physics. In the late 1980s, I wrote a series of papers exploring discovery strategies for the missing top quark of the Standard Model. In Phys. Rev. D39 (1989) 3310, we showed that collider experiments in the 1990s at Fermilab should be able to extract the top quark signal from background processes if the top quark mass was less than 200 GeV. We proposed the H_T variable cut which was later used by D0 to extract the top quark signal from background. The top was ultimately discovered by the CDF and D0 experimental groups at Fermilab in 1995-1996 using ~100 pb^-1 of data with mass m(top)~ 173 GeV. D0 made crucial use of our H_T variable cut. I have also written several papers on next-to-leading order calculations in perturbative (NLO) QCD processes. These include calculations of direct photon production, jet photoproduction, W and Z boson production, supersymmetric particle production and the problem of interfacing the parton showers of event generators with next-to-leading order QCD calculations.

Supersymmetry at Colliders:

Over the past twenty-five years, I have been one of the main pioneers in developing the observable consequences of supersymmetric theories of particle physics. In the 1980s, Xerxes Tata and I showed a wide array of decay modes were possible for supersymmetric particles, leading to a variety of signature reactions for collider experiments. We were the first to calculate superparticle *cascade decays*, and to demonstrate their usefulness. After developing the computer program ISAJET for supersymmetry with Frank Paige, we were able to show exactly the sorts of high energy scattering events that would lead to the identification of supersymmetric matter. The search for supersmmetry is one of the main goals of the CERN Large Hadron Collider, which has recently begun taking data. We showed that the 7-14 trillion electron volts available for collisions will be sufficient to either discover supersymmetric matter or to rule it out over wide ranges of parameter space. We initiated the work on extracting superparticle mass measurements from cascade decay events at hadron colliders. Now that LHC has turned on and has provided over 5 fb^-1 of data, I am fully engaged in data analysis and interpretation. This month my group will release a paper showing how LHC SUSY searches can gain a large jump in sensitivity by examining gaugino pair production reactions. A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the CERN W2 group entitled ``From simplified models to cascade decays (and back again)''. I am also heavily involved in theoretical work for the International Linear Collider. We have developed ISAJET to generate SM and SUSY processes including bremsstrahlung and beamstrahlung, and also beam polarization. ISAJET has been a fundamental tool for exploring the possibilities of the ILC. We have shown recently that in cosmologically favored SUSY model parameter space regions, the reach of the ILC can exceed that of the CERN LHC. I am currently writing up the chapter of the ILC re-commissioning report on status of supersymmetry since LHC turn-on.


With my grad student Michael Brhlik, we published in 1996 the world's best calculation of remnant supersymmetric cold dark matter from the Big Bang. This was the standard calculation for several years. Then with postdocs A. Belyaev and C. Balazs, we reworked our code into *IsaReD*, which yields one of several best estimates of relic cold dark matter from supersymmetric theories. We have also sought to match the relic density predictions with data from dark matter measurements, and see what the corresponding LHC collider signatures would look like in ``dark matter allowed'' regions of parameter space. In the past few years, my group has shown that in fact a mixture of axion and axino dark matter is in many ways superior to the more popular neutralino picture. If mixed axion/axino cold dark matter exists, then the corresponding SUSY signatures at LHC will likely be quite different. Recently, with my student Andre Lessa, we developed an eight-coupled Boltzmann equation code which is best in the world for calculating the abundance of mixed axion/neutralino cold dark matter.

Dark Matter Search:

Recently, my students, postdocs and I have mapped out supersymmetric model parameter space regions where direct and indirect detection of neutralino dark matter is possible. These regions are very much complementary to what can be done at colliders. While a dark matter signal might be detected at muon telescopes such as IceCube at the South Pole, or via direct detection in underground experiments, or via observation of photons or antimatter from halo annihilations, if collider experiments can produce the dark matter particle, then their detailed properties can be mapped out. One of our contributions was to discover that dark matter annihilations via Higgs resonances in the galactic halo can give rise to large detection rates, even if dark matter is not directly detectable or detectable via neutrino telescopes. Our recent work on mixed axion/axino dark matter would imply that no WIMP signal should be seen in direct/indirect detection experiments. We find that SUSY models prefer a somewhat higher value of Peccei-Quinn breaking scale $f_a$, meaning axion detection experiments should search for excitations in the sub-micro-eV range.

Event generator development:

My main contribution to particle physics is in the development of the first realistic simulation program for production of supersymmetric matter. My collaborator Xerxes Tata (Hawaii) and I pioneered much of the phenomenology of particle physics models with supersymmetry. We had a need for detailed simulations of production of these new states of matter at colliding beam experiments. In 1992, in collaboration with Frank Paige (Brookhaven), we developed the ISAJET program to simulate production of supersymmetric matter at colliders. Since that time, we have been continually upgrading ISAJET to give ever better predictions. ISAJET is a key tool that experimenters use to aid in both detector design for future experiments, and for data analysis in current experiments. For instance, ISAJET is currently being used in the search for supersymmetric matter at experiments at Fermilab, and was also being used to design detectors for the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider. Now it is being used in various data analyses by the CERN Atlas and CMS groups. Since the time we released ISAJET, several other similar programs have emerged whch make predictions for supersymmetry. But ISAJET is still a mainstream program, and was chosen at the Snowmass Summer Study in 2001 on the Future of High Energy Physics as the standard event generator for supersymmetry. It was also chosen in 2004 by the SLAC linear collider/cosmology study group as the standard tool to investigate the connection between the ILC and cosmological dark matter. We also developed the first ever public code for calculating the superparticle mass pectrum using renormalization group equations: Isasugra. Isasugra is used these days to make many of the $m_0$ vs. $m_{1/2}$ plots for Atlas, CMS, CDF and D0 presentation of SUSY search results. Later, several European groups developed similar codes: SoftSUSY, SUSpect and Spehno. Isasugra has some unique features which make it in my opinion still the best available code for SUSY spectrum calculation: namely sequential decoupling of sparticles as the RGEs run, in the spirit of effective field theories. Furthermore, Isasugra has a seamless interface with Isajet event generation and with Isatools for relic density and dark matter direct detection calculations. No other single code can do as much!

Particle physics model building:

Recently, my students, postdocs and I have been engaged in a variety of exciting supersymmetric model building projects. We have shown that supersymmetric grand unified theories (GUTs) based on the gauge group SO(10) can accomodate t-b-tau Yukawa coupling unification, but only for very specific choices of GUT scale soft terms. In addition, a class of models we have investigated-- inverted hierarchy models-- are especially attractive as Grand Unified Theories, in that they solve the supersymmetric flavor and CP problems, but maintain the so-called ``naturalness'' condition. We also proposed a normal scalar mass hierarchy model which has generational mass splitting, but still respects bounds from FCNC measurements, and also accommodates recent measurements on Omega h^2, (g-2)_mu and BF( b-> s gamma ). Recently, we have tried to tabulate all the various ways that non-universal soft SUSY breaking terms can be used to explain the correct dark matter abundance in the Universe. Each mechanism leads to rather unique predictions for collider phenomena at the LHC and ILC. We have also investigated collider and dark matter phenomena expected from KKLT string inspired SUSY models, and more recently, gaugino AMSB models.

Courses Taught This Year:
PHYS-5970 Advanced Quantum Field Theory
Interests & Hobbies:
Wilderness canoeing, whitewater kayaking, climbing and mountaineering.
Some wilderness rivers I have run:
Upper Missinaibi (1979); South Seal/North Knife (1980); Cochrane, Pigeon, Kazan, Maguse (1981); Bloodvein (1982); Kazan (1984); Back, Meadowbank, Quioch, Chesterfield Inlet (1986); Coppermine (1989); Dubawnt (1993)
Wisconsin log cabin for rent
Wisconsin log cabin for rent

Recent papers with high resolution figures

Collider and Dark Matter Phenomenology of Models with Mirage Unification (by Baer, Park, Tata and Wang), March 2, 2007
Mainly axion cold dark matter in the minimal supergravity model (by Baer, Box and Summy), June 14, 2009
Thermal leptogenesis and the gravitino problem in the Asaka-Yanagida axion/axino dark matter scenario (by Baer, Kraml, Lessa and Sekmen), Dec. 16, 2010
Electroweak versus high scale finetuning in the 19-parameter SUGRA model(by Baer, Barger and Padeffke-Kirkland), April 21, 2013

Recent talks

Seminar on Direct, Indirect and Collider Detection of SUSY Dark Matter, given at Caltech, February 27, 2006
Seminar on Search for SUSY at LHC in light of Dark Matter, given at CERN, June 23, 2006
Seminar on Journey to the Dark Side (of the Universe), given at UWM, December 1, 2006
Talk on SUSY Dark Matter Models: given at Texas A\& M University meeting, May 15, 2007
Talk on SUSY and Cosmology: given at Aspen winter conference, Jan. 16, 2008
Talk on SO(10) SUSYGUTs: cosmology to colliders: seminar at UT-Arlington, Oct. 27, 2008
Talk on LHC and the dark matter connection: at CERN ENTApP meeting, Feb. 6, 2009
Colloquium on Supersymmetric Dark Matter: Direct, Indirect and Collider Searches, given at Oklahoma State University, April 16, 2009
Talk on Beyond the Standard Model, at Conference on the Intersection between particle and Nuclear Physics (CIPANP), San Diego, CA, May 28, 2009
Seminar on Reach of LHC for supersymmetry during Run 1, given at University of Colorado, July 9, 2010
Seminar on radiative natural supersymmetry, given at SLAC, March 22, 2013.

Beijing lectures on supersymmetry

Lecture 1: Intro to SUSY, Aug. 7, 2006
Lecture 2: SUSY models, Aug. 8, 2006
Lecture 3: Dark matter, Aug. 10, 2006
Lecture 4: SUSY at LHC, Aug. 11, 2006

SUSY07 pre-meeting lectures on SUSY at LHC

Lecture 1: Models, constraint, basics of LHC, July 23, 2007
Lecture 2: Sparticle production, decay and event generation, July 24, 2007
Lecture 3: Signals, background, reach and precision measurements, July 25, 2007

TASI 2008 lectures on E_T(miss) signatures at LHC

Lecture 1: Overview and SUSY basics, June 16, 2008
Lecture 2: Sparticle production, decay and event generation, June 17, 2008
Lecture 3: SUSY, UED and LHT at LHC, June 19, 2008
Lecture 4: ET(miss) and dark matter connection, June 20, 2008

Karlsruhe/Freudenstadt lectures on SUSY, dark matter and the LHC

Lecture 1: Supersymmetry and dark matter, September 30, 2009
Lecture 2: Supersymmetry and the LHC, October 1, 2009


list of publications from the SLAC archives. citation summary from the SLAC archives.
CV, Jan. 17, 2014
Short (3 year) CV, Jan. 17, 2014

Howard Baer running El Horrendo Falls on the Russell Fork river, Breaks Interstate park, Virginia/Kentucky, circa 1983, photo by Denise Handrich

Howard Baer running Wonder Falls on the Big Sandy river, West Virginia, circa 1983, photo by Denise Handrich

Last Updated: Jan. 17, 2014