Physics at Virginia

Brad Cox

Ph.D., 1967, Duke
Professor Emeritus

Experimental High Energy Physics

Research Interests

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Professor Cox has been involved in many experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN Lab in Geneva, Switzerland, studying electroweak interactions, quantum chromodynamics, heavy flavor production, and time reversal violation in the kaon system. Prof. Cox has acted as scientific spokesman for several of these experiments. He was a professor at Johns Hopkins University and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory before joining the University of Virginia faculty to found the experimental particle physics group. He held several positions at Fermilab including head of the Proton Laboratory and the Research Services Department and was deputy chair of the Physics Department. During his tenure as Proton Lab head, the b quark was discovered in the Proton Lab.


Professor Cox is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Distinguished Scientist of the University of Virginia, and wasnamed the Outstandng Scientist of the year in Virginia in 2014.  He has also received the 2014 Jesse Beams award of Southeastern section of the American Physical Society for his scientific achievements.

Prof. Cox has recently been engaged in studies of the very basic structure of matter and the evolution of the universe in the CMS experiment at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. This experiment will be at the forefront of experimental particle physics for the next decade or two and has recently detected what appears to be the Higgs particle. Prof. Cox acted as one of a four person review committee on CMS charged with the responsibility of verifying that the most important aspect of this discovery was valid. Prof. Cox's future plans are to try to detect supersymmetric particles in the CMS experiment in a search for the origin of dark matter in the universe.

Prof. Cox holds or has held the following CMS positions recently:

  1. US manager of the CMS electromagnetic detector effort responsible for the EM teams operational budgets for this activity for Caltech, Minnesota, Cornell, UVa, Florida State, Carnegie Mellon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Princeton participation in the EM detector.
  2. Co-leader of the CMS Forward Calorimetry upgrade task force charged with conceptual design of upgrade calorimetry capable of withstanding high radiation levels and rates in the High Intensity LHC era.

In addition to the CMS Experiment, Prof. Cox is completing his research on the phenomenon of time reversal violation in the weak decays of strange quarks in the Fermilab experiment known as KTeV. The phenomenon of time reversal violation often manifests itself as an asymmetry between matter and antimatter. In the very successful KTeV experiment, the origin of time reversal violation has been shown to be in the weak interaction, a result that has been awaited for over 35 years since the first observation of time reversal in the 1964 Cronin-Fitch Nobel prize experiment. This result was designated as the best experimental result of 1998-99 by the US Department of Energy. The KTeV experiment has also uncovered new and different effects of time reversal violation. The University of Virginia KTeV group found the largest indirect CP violation effect yet measured in K decays. In addition the KTeV experiment has resolved the problem of first row unitarity in the CKM matrix of the weak interaction, a result that was designated by Fermilab as its best measurement of 2004.

Selected Publications

"Observation of a New Boson with mass near 125GeV", CMS Collaboration, submitted to Phys. Letters 716(1).

A Measurement of the CP violating φ asymmetry and the K0 Charge Radius and a Search for the CP Violating E1 Photon Emission in KL→π+π-e+e-, with E. Abouzaid et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 101801 (2006).

Measurements of Direct CP Violation, CPT Symmetry, and Other Parameters in the Neutral Kaon System, with A.Alavi-Harati et al., Phys. Rev. D67, 012005 (2003).

Over 2000 additonal publications

News Items

Professors Cox, Hirosky, and Neu have been selected to receive a Research Collaboration Award by the University of Virginia Research Achievement Awards committee.  This ......More >
Brad Cox's work on the discovery of the Higgs boson and Joe Poon's work on amorphous "super steel" is celebrated in a UVAToday story on UVA's top twelve notable ......More >
Brad Cox's election as AAAS Fellow is celebrated in UVAToday.  From ......More >
From UVa Today: Two of the University of ......More >
On January 15, 2014, UVaToday reported:"In recognition of Cox's contributions to the search for and discovery of the Higgs, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Science Museum of Virginia ......More >
From UVa Today:"The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert to recognize their work in developing the ......More >
From UVa Today:"We've had an observation that very likely is the Higgs," said University of Virginia physicist Brad Cox in the College of Arts & Sciences, who has been involved with the Higgs ......More >
Brad Cox comments upon the LHC's search for the Higgs boson. For more: http://uvamagazine.org/university_digest/article/picking_up_the_subatomic_pieces ...More >
From The Daily Progress:A team of scientists that includes a group from the University of Virginia may have seen a glimpse of a subatomic particle that, in theory, is the key to holding ......More >


University of Virginia Collaboration Award [2021]
Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science [2016]
UVa Distinguished Scientist [2014]
Outstanding Virginia Scientist [2014]

In recognition of Cox's contributions to the search for and discovery of the Higgs

Jesse W. Beams Award [2014]
Discovery of the Higgs particle named one of the 12 most important research results of the past 50 years at the University of Virginia. [2014]
American Physical Society Publication Board Member (Chair 2014) [2010 -2014 ]
Named Adjunct Professor Shandong University, China [1987]
APS Fellow [1985]
For his pioneering contributions to the study of direct photon production from the interactions of quarks and gluons, and for his role in detector development and managing physics research at Fermilab
james B. James B. Duke Fellow, Duke University [1963-65]
Hamilton Award Outstanding Graduating Senior [1963]