Title: Professor of Physics
Hometown: Middleton, Wisconsin
Educational background: PhD at Columbia University; BA at Cambridge University; BSc at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, India.
How did you get into your field of research?
I have always loved Physics since it helped me understand the world around me. And it helped me develop sound logical and critical thinking skills that I could apply in every aspect of my life. My favorite quote in high school was one of Ernest Rutherford’s: “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”
What attracted you to UW-Madison?
An excellent physics department and wonderful colleagues!
What was your first visit to campus like?
I came to give a seminar a number of years ago and enjoyed giving it in front of an audience that seemed genuinely interested in the topic and asked me many questions.
What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with?
Physics is fun! And if you spend the time and effort to understand it, you will understand it — and for life.
Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.
Fundamental physics research has the potential of having a wide-ranging impact — it is often a precursor to innovation and invention that impacts people’s lives in many different ways.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?
We know very little about the universe that we live in. The observable part of the universe is only about 4 percent. The 96 percent of it is made of what is called dark matter and dark energy. Many experiments all over the world, including the experiment that I work on (the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider), are trying to figure out what this overwhelming majority of the universe is made of.
Reading, watching movies.