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Maxim Perelstein



Educational Background

B.S., Physics, 1995, Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, Russia. M.S., Physics, 1997, UCLA. Ph.D., Physics, 2000, Stanford University. Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2000 - 2003. Assistant Professor, Cornell University, 2003-2009. Associate Professor, Cornell University, 2009-2015. Professor, Cornell University,  2015 - present. NSF Career Award, 2009-2013.



Theoretical elementary particle physics; Cosmology


  • Physics

Graduate Fields

  • Physics


  • Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education (CLASSE)
  • Laboratory for Elementary-Particle Physics (LEPP)


My research is mainly focused on theory and phenomenology of electroweak symmetry breaking (EWSB). While the fact that the symmetry is broken is universally accepted as one of the cornerstones of the standard model of particle physics, the mechanism responsible for this breaking is at present unknown. Several alternative mechanisms have been proposed by theorists. Each model predicts a rich variety of new physical phenomena such as new particles, interactions, and possibly even new compact dimensions of space. I am interested both in constructing new models of EWSB, and in devising strategies for testing them experimentally. The latter area is especially exciting since relevant experiments are currently under way at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Examples of my recent research in this direction include: studying predictions of natural EWSB models for the properties of the recently discovered Higgs boson; proposals of novel strategies to search for supersymmetry and other new physics at the LHC; and a study of the power of LHC detectors to discriminate among the models with similar signatures, conducted in collaboration with members of the Cornell high-energy experimental group.

I am also interested in theoretical cosmology, especially topics on the interface of particle physics and cosmology such as theoretical models for dark energy, dark matter, and inflation. For example, many models of electroweak symmetry breaking predict new particles which could constitute all or most of the cosmological dark matter. If such particles exist, it may be possible to produce and study them directly at high-energy colliders such as the LHC. My collaborators and I have developed an approach that allows predicting the production rates in a model-independent way, using the precise measurements of dark matter abundance from cosmological observations.  

Doing research with my group requires good working knowledge of quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics, as well as some understanding of basic experimental techniques used in high energy physics.

Graduate Students
Yu-Dai Tsai and Gowri Kurup