David Curtin

Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Particle Physics

Tier 2 - 2018-10-01
University of Toronto
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Research summary

Dr. David Curtin wants to radically change how we study and understand the universe.

As Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Particle Physics, Curtin is studying theories that go beyond fundamental physical laws as we currently understand them to explain puzzles like the nature of dark matter or the weakness of gravity. By re-imagining everything we thought we knew about particles and forces, his questions, tests and techniques are paving the way for the next generation of particle physics experiments as well as redefining how we solve mysteries in the universe and where we look for answers.

Curtin’s theoretical studies point to hidden particles and energies that may evade traditional detection methods. He and his research team are collaborating with experimental physicists around the world to test ideas about discovering the ghostly signatures of this new physics, to set new goals for the powerful Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator, to study the newly discovered Higgs boson, and to construct new particle detectors at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (better known as CERN).

Curtin and his team are also studying the traces these hidden particles might leave in the structure of the cosmos and in our observations of galaxies and stars. Once found, these new particles and forces could expand our perspective on the universe and its origins, including the few moments after the Big Bang.

By changing the way we ask questions about the very smallest and the largest phenomena in our universe, Curtin’s original and radical approach to fundamental physics is having a far-reaching impact on our understanding of the cosmos.