The aim of experimental particle physics is to probe the basic constituents of matter and the forces between them. To reach the basic constituents at very small distances, the probing particles must have very high energy; hence the name "high energy physics." Higher energies can be achieved at "colliders" in which particles collide with each other head-on, mutually probing their constituents. All different fragments of the collision need to be measured precisely in order to gain a full picture of the collision. The apparatus is therefore complex and involves much expertise. Furthermore, since the constituents being probed are extremely small (i.e., small scattering cross sections), the experiments use state of the art high-rate data acquisition techniques and the most sophisticated analysis software in order to fish out an interesting signal like a needle in a haystack. Students in High Energy experimental physics have the opportunity to be exposed not only to frontier physics, but also frontier electronics and software technology.

Professor Ko has been on our faculty since 1972, specializing in experimental particle physics. His former Ph.D. students include:
Richard Kass ('78), Professor of Physics, Ohio State University;
Gary Shoemaker ('83), Professor and Chair of Physics, California State University, Sacramento;
Mike Cain ('84), Technical Group Manager, XonTech, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama,
Roger McNeil ('86), Professor and Chair of Physics, Lousiana State University;
David Stuart ('92), Associate Professor of Physics, UC Santa Barbara;
Fengcheng Lin ('95), President and CTO, Teralane Semiconductor (Shenzhen);
Jeff Rowe ('96), Assistant Research Scientist, UC Davis Computer Security Laboratory.

Professor Ko has performed experiments in high energy physics laboratories around the world: he has surveyed inclusive reactions during the pioneer days of Fermilab; he has measured the structure of the photon in SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Lab) and DESY (Deutsches Elektonen-Sychrotron); he has studied electroweak symmetry breaking with the AMY experiment in Japan's KEK (Ko Energy Kenkyusho). All the experiments also searched for new particles and shot down many theorietical models.

Great discovery potentials for new physics including the Higgs mechanism of the electroweak symmetry breaking are expected at the upcoming LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland. The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is an LHC detector that contains many features we at U C Davis had proposed for high energy, high luminosity colliders (SSC EOI-7); in 1992 three U C campuses including U C Davis were the only U. S. signatories of the CMS Letter of Intent. Subsequently CMS was approved to be one of the two major LHC experiments and many U.S. groups joined. Professor Ko has maintained a major leadership role as the coordinator of software for the muon system that, as indicated by the middle name the collaboration, is of central importance to the experiment.

Honors and Awards
Winston T. Ko