Meet the Physics & Astronomy Chair
David Saltzberg's research is directed in two areas.
High-Energy Proton Collider Physics
Prof. Saltzberg has worked at the energy frontier of proton colliders since 1989. He currently collaborates at UCLA with Profs. Cousins, Hauser and Bachtis on the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment located at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
Over the years, Prof. Saltzberg has analyzed the data to yield insights into the unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces, he probed the then-newly top quark (which remains the most massive known elementary particle to this day) for anomalous properties, and he searched for physics beyond the so-called Standard Model of particle physics. He worked with UCLA Prof. Bern to test new calculations of events produced by Quantum Chromodynamics which are often the largest obstacle to discovering "new physics."
He is currently working with his UCLA colleagues to discover what could be the heaviest known particle, with a mass exceeding a tera-electron volt and perhaps reveal partners to the Higgs Boson. Over the years, his group has built electronics for fast event selection, detector alignment monitors, and new gas-based muon detectors.
Search for Exa-Electron Volt Cosmic Neutrinos using Radio Emission
Saltzberg has spent nearly two decades searching for the neutrino counterpart to the known highest energy cosmic rays, single particles with up to and exceeding 1020 electron volts of energy.
By using radio waves, extremely large volumes of natural materials become transparent and can be monitored for exceedingly rare events, for which he and his collaborators have employed the Moon to Antarctica. These experiments produced the first energy vs flux rates entirely with the radio technique.
Recent events from the ANITA experiment, a NASA balloon payload which his group has helped build and operate, indicated that looking for tau leptons punching out of valleys may reveal a new source of events. He has started a collaboration aiming antennas from White Mountain (California) into a neighboring valley.
Over the years, he took part in a suite of experiments at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have confirmed the presence and magnitude of the radio emission expected from neutrinos and cosmic rays.
And he'd be happy to talk to you about some of his favorites: PHYSICS 117: an electronics laboratory for senior physics majors, PHYSICS 1C, the final part of the introductory year-long course for scientists and engineers, and PHYSICS 597, a preparatory course for graduate students about to take the written comprehensive examination.
And when he gets out of the lab....
Prof. Saltzberg performs science consulting for a number of television shows, including The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. In the past he provided science advice to: Manh(a)ttan and The Leftovers. He'd be happy tell you about others that never saw the light of day.