Todd Pedlar has been a professor in the Physics department since 2003. Some of his course topics include Classical Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, and Thermal Physics. He also teaches in our common first year course for all students: Paideia: Enduring Questions.
His research is in elementary particle physics, and he is a member of the Belle and Belle II collaborations: international teams that operate experiments at KEK, the National High Energy Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan. The below videos introduce the Belle II experiment on which Dr. Pedlar works, which began data taking in Spring 2018:
The video below is a time-lapse video of the roll-in of the Belle II detector into its nominal position on the electron-positron beamline so that it is in place to detect the result of the first beam collisions of electron and positron beams during commissioning runs in early 2018:
Dr. Pedlar and his students are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. He has won four consecutive three-year grants from the Elementary Particle Physics subdivision of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences division of the NSF. The latest grant, covering 2018-2021, is in the amount of $178,507.
This grant will continue to fund summer and academic-year research projects for him and for his students, travel to KEK for meetings and for the operation of the Belle II experiment, which began commissioning in early 2016 and formal operations in March, 2019. He and his students also regularly present the results of their work at both undergraduate conferences, the annual meetings of the American Physical Society, and international conferences such as the biennial International Conference on Heavy Quarks and Leptons.
Five of Dr. Pedlar's last ten research students (graduating between 2012 and 2019) have gone on to Ph. D. programs in physics (at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, three at Indiana University, and Virginia Tech). Of the other five students, one has received an MS in statistics from the University of Minnesota, one is pursuing an MD at the University of Iowa, one is pursuing a post baccalaureate program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and one is pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.