The central theme of the theoretical high energy physics group is to develop and study the theoretical framework which describes all elementary particles observed in nature and their fundamental interactions, and to obtain a deeper understanding of the fundamental theory of elementary particles.
Many of the elementary particles are unstable and can only be produced at high energy densities as present in particle collider experiments and in the early universe.
Phenomenology of physics beyond the Standard Model: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN measures particle interactions at the energy frontier. The KAIST theory group is studying the Standard Model of particle physics as well as several of its extensions (supersymmetry, extra dimensions, composite Higgs models, etc) and provides detailed predictions of signal processes at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and future collider experiments through which the nature of electroweak symmetry breaking and TeV-scale physics can be tested. Collider phenomenology is interconnected with flavor physics and model building, and our group is working closely with the frontier of particle phenomenology.
Particle Cosmology: The matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe, inflation, and the existence of dark matter are not explained within the Standard Model of particle physics. The KAIST theory group is studying various extensions of the Standard Model in order to address these questions.
Developing theoretical tools: In order to understand the physics beyond the Standard Model, it is crucial to understand the Standard Model predictions, and how to distinguish new physics signatures. The KAIST theory group is working on developing various tools, mostly based on quantum field theory for interpreting the data from the experiments.
Axion models: A further corner-stone of research followed by the group is axion physics which provides an explanation of the strong CP problem (particle physics) and a candidate for dark matter (cosmology). This topic is followed in close collaboration with the experimental axion group at KAIST.