Joseph Comfort's current projects include fundamental experiments aimed at looking for physics beyond the Standard Model (SM). At the new J-PARC accelerator complex in Japan, Professor Comfort and his group are pursuing the KOTO experiment to measre the exceedingly small branching ratio of neutral kaons into neutral pions and two neutrinos. The rate is directly sensitive to the parameter in the Standard Model that gives CP violation, which underlies the very large matter/antimatter asymmetry observed in the universe. Deviations from the SM prediction will be evidence for various types of new physics. An analogue experiment with positive kaons and pions, called ORKA, has received Stage 1 approval at Fermilab. Professor Comfort is also part of a lepton universality experiment, involving the ratio of positive pion decay to positrons and muons, with exceptionally high precision. Prior to these activities, Prof. Comfort studied the structure of baryons through the excitation and decay of their excited states with pion and kaon beams and the Crystal Ball spectrometer at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Studies related to the possible deformed shape of the proton were also made at the MIT Bates laboratory with electron beams. Pion charge-exchange reactions on nuclei and the proton were studied for many years at both BNL and the LAMPF facility in Los Alamos. These included innovative experiments with polarized and oriented targets.
Personal Home Page - http://megpc1.la.asu.edu/~comfort/