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Heads of Laboratories

Head shot of Konstantin Goulianos
Konstantin A. Goulianos, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Experimental High Energy Physics

In an attempt to understand the creation, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe, Dr. Goulianos and his colleagues study the basic constituents of matter and their interactions, watching as particles are accelerated to very high energies and brought into head-on collisions. Their research is conducted at Fermilab in Illinois and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.

A large fraction of the energy in particle collisions is converted into a variety of new particles flying away from the collision like exploding fireworks. Most of the created particles have an ephemeral existence, decaying after a brief period into more stable ones. Detailed studies of all known particles have revealed an inner order, which has been coded into a theoretical framework known as the Standard Model. Matter in all its forms, from stars to living organisms, can be described in terms of twelve fundamental particles, six quarks and six leptons, interacting by exchanging force particles — gluons, photons, or W and Z bosons — following strict mathematical rules based on symmetry principles.

Dr. Goulianos’s laboratory has made substantial contributions to establishing the Standard Model as the premier theory of particle physics. Their experiments at the Intersecting Storage Rings at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) provided early evidence for the existence of quarks, and in experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, they discovered and measured the rate of neutrino-proton elastic scattering, confirming the neutral-current interactions predicted by the Standard Model. Using the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider, the Goulianos laboratory contributed to the discovery of the top quark.

The Goulianos team also participates in the international collaboration of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The main goal of CMS was to search for the Higgs particle, which could explain the diversity of quark masses. On July 4, 2012, the CMS and ATLAS experiments announced the discovery of a new particle of mass of around 125 billion electron volts with properties consistent with those expected for the Higgs. Further studies have now positively identified this particle as a Higgs boson, a result corroborated by a CDF measurement. The Higgs discovery brings to a conclusion a half-century endeavor and provides a new pedestal from which to launch searches for the roots of the remaining mysteries of the universe.

Other physics activities of the Goulianos team at CDF and CMS include finding evidence for theoretical ideas aimed at accommodating gravity in the Standard Model and explaining dark matter and dark energy. In another venue, the team is studying diffractive phenomena, which provide a window to a component of the Standard Model important for understanding the structure of strongly interacting particles like the proton.

Carrying the experience gained at the Tevatron to the Large Hadron Collider, Dr. Goulianos and his team are working to further characterize the Higgs boson and make new discoveries in the areas of diffraction and beyond the Standard Model physics.


Undergraduate degree in chemistry, 1958
University of Thessaloniki

M.A. in physics 1960
Ph.D. in physics, 1963
Columbia University


Columbia University, 1963–1964 


Instructor, 1964–1967
Assistant Professor, 1967–1971  
Princeton University

Associate Professor, 1971–1981
Professor, 1981–
The Rockefeller University


Aaltonen, T. et al. Diffractive dijet production in pp collisions at √s =1.96 TeV. Phys. Rev. D 86, 032009 (2012).

Chatrchyan, S. et al. Combined results of searches for the standard model Higgs boson in pp collisions at √s =7 TeV. Phys. Lett. B 710, 26–48 (2012).

Aaltonen, T. et al. Observation of exclusive dijet production at the Fermilab Tevatron pp collider. Phys. Rev. D 77, 052004 (2008).

Abe, F. et al. Observation of top quark production in pp collisions with the collider detector at Fermilab. Phys. Rev. Lett. 74, 2626–2631 (1995).

Danby, G. et al. Observation of high-energy neutrino reactions and the existence of two kinds of neutrinos. Phys. Rev. Lett. 9, 36–44 (1962).

Dr. Goulianos is a faculty member in the David Rockefeller Graduate Program and the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program.