Maryland Center for Theoretical Physics (MCFP)
Associate Professor of Physics
Department of Physics, University of Maryland College Park
Prof. Agashe joined the faculty of the physics department of the University of Maryland in 2007 (and he was on the faculty at Syracuse University from 2005-2007). Prof. Agashe's research is in the field of theoretical particle physics (more details are under the "Research Interests" tab). He works on ideas going beyond the standard model of particle physics, a theory fully developed in 1970's which accounts for the interactions of the elementary particles. This research includes both building such new models and making predictions for them which can be tested in experiments (“phenomenology”), that too ranging from direct production of new particles at high-energy colliders to their indirect detection in lower-energy experiments to dark matter detection. Such extensions are motivated to solve many of the problems of the standard model, most notably the Planck-weak hierarchy problem. The new particles which arise as part of solutions to this problem are expected to have a mass in the TeV ballpark so that they should be accessible directly at the ongoing Large Hadron Collider. Moreover, new particles at this mass scale are also present in many models which attempt to account for the dark matter in the universe. Part of Prof. Agashe's work has focussed on the idea of supersymmetry, a new symmetry which relates fermions (spin-1/2 particles) to bosons (spin-0 or 1 particles), which is perhaps the most popular such extension of the standard model. Prof. Agashe has also done research on a very attractive alternative to supersymmetry, the scenario of "warped" extra dimensions: it turns out that this can also address the flavor hierarchy problem of the standard model. Remarkably, as per the AdS/CFT correspondence, this set-up is dual to a (purely) four-dimensional theory, where the standard model Higgs boson is actually a composite of some new, strongly-coupled sector. Prof. Agashe has built complete, realistic models within this broad framework. Moreover, Prof. Agashe has shown that such models can naturally contain dark matter particles and incorporate the fascinating possibility of the (grand) unification of the three forces of the standard model.
Prof. Agashe's teaching experience covers both introductory physics courses and those for advanced undergraduate and graduate students (including lectures at particle physics schools).