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    Faculty Profile — Is this you? Login to edit.Last Modified Time: 06:19:07 PM Tue, 10 Nov 2015 
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Joseph M Izen
Professor-Physics Department
Office MailstopMail Box: EC36, Room No.: ECN2.510 
Email Address    Secondary Phone Number 972-546-2540    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
 Ph.D.PhysicsHarvard University1982
 A.M.PhysicsHarvard University1978
 B.S.Physics & MathematicsThe Cooper Union1977
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Research Interests
  • Proton collisions produced at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
  • Higgs Boson
  • Search for dark matter and dark gauge bosons
  • Pixel and scilicon strip detectors for charged-particle tracking
  • Annihilation of electrons and positrons with the PEP-II storage ring at SLAC
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
 1  2  
  YearPublication  Type
Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. (ATLAS Collaboration) G. Aad, et al., Physics Letters B716, 1 (2012).
Peer reviewed
Exclusive Production of Ds+Ds-, Ds*+Dsand Ds*+Ds*- via Annihilation with Initial-State Radiation. (BABAR Collaboration) B. Aubert, et al., Physical Review D76, 111105 (2010). (Principal authors: J.M. Izen, A. Palano)
Peer reviewed
Exclusive Initial-State Radiation Production of the DD,DDand DD System (BABAR Collaboration) B. Aubert, et al., Physical Review D79, 092001 (2008). (Principal authors: J.M. Izen, A. Palano)
Peer reviewed
Study of the Exclusive Initial-State Radiation Production of the DD System (BABAR Collaboration) B. Aubert, et al., Physical Review D76, 111105 (2007). (Principal authors: J.M. Izen, A. Palano)
Peer reviewed
Observation of a broad structure in the π+πJ/ψ mass spectrum around 4.26-GeV/c2 . BABAR Collaboration (B. Aubert et al.). BABAR-PUB-05-29, SLAC-PUB-11320, hep-ex/0506081, Jun 2005. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 142001 (2005).
Peer reviewed
Collapse Section Expand Section Affiliations
American Physical Society
APS Division of Particles and Fields
ATLAS Collaboration
BaBar Collaboration
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2012-presentFaculty AffiliateDepartment of Science/Math Education University of Texas at Dallas
1999-presentProfessor  University of Texas at Dallas
1994-1997Visiting Associate Professor  Colorado State University
1994-1999Associate Professor  University of Texas at Dallas
1991-1994Assistant Professor  University of Texas at Dallas
1986-1991Assistant Professor  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1982-1985Project Associate  University of Wisconsin at Madison
1977-1982Research Assistant  Harvard University
 News Articles
Studying the universe a fulfilling pursuit
Viet Nam News

In the second semester, I took up a course in physics with Professor Joseph Izen, who taught the subject with an entirely different approach, unlike the way I had been learning so far.

By not focusing on solving tricky problems, Prof Izen piqued our curiosity with many physics demonstrations. There were several "wow" moments when we saw unexpected phenomena and learned about the underlying theories of physics.

As part of our final exam, he took all the students to Six Flags, an amusement park in Texas. Each student was asked to bring along a device to record the acceleration while riding roller coasters and then write a 30-page report analyzing the data.

Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards 2012
UT System

Physics is a perspective on how to understand the world and an approach to solving problems. Physicists take joy from what humans have already understood and we revel in the pursuit of what we have yet to understand. In the classroom, I offer the physicist's world view on the same platter as physical theory, with a healthy dose of demonstrations, word play and inside jokes. Physics can be taught, but love of physics and respect for others have to be demonstrated. I try to pass on to my students that gift which my professors shared with me, and if my students are fortunate, someday they will have their own students to inspire.

ATLAS Cavern Banjo Video Wins Third Place

Joe Izen, principal investigator for UT Dallas' high energy physics group, entered Banjo Hangout'sBanjos in Unusual Places challenge and won third place out of 28 entries. In Izen's video, he playsRed Hills Polka and Chinese Breakdown on his banjo in the ATLAS cavern.

Izen picked up the banjo in the 80s when he was a PhD student working on the CLEO experiment. He played during night shifts at CLEO and later in other experiments he worked on, most recently in the ATLAS Control Room at CERN during theLarge Hadron Collider's first run.

"Around 4AM when the body clock starts to go to sleep, if everyone was okay with it, I'd play my banjo," says Izen.

Izen's band Squirrelheads in Gravy has two tracks included in Resonance, a double-CD featuring music of physicists working on the ATLAS experiment, the proceeds of which help to fund theHappy Children's Home in Pokhara, Nepal. Banjo Hangout runs a challenge every month, and Banjos in Unsual Places was its April edition.

Restarting The Large Hadron Collider: The Quest For Micro Black Holes

Izen at KERA(March 20, 2015) A device as complicated as the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is bound to have a few technical hiccups. A short circuit stalled its reboot – and scientists aren’t exactly sure when it’ll be fixed. Professor Joseph Izen is part of the team from the University of Texas at Dallas that works on the collider. He joined KERA’s Justin Martin to talk about what they hope to achieve when the device restarts.

UT Dallas' High Energy Physics Group Receives $600,000 in DOE Research Funding
UT Dallas News Center
RICHARDSON, Texas (May 25, 2001) - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has renewed research funding for the High Energy Physics Group at The University of Texas at Dallas with a $600,000 award for the period 2001-2004.
It is the fourth three-year award DOE has granted the group, with funding increasing each period.
The grant will enable two UTD faculty members - Joseph M. Izen, professor of physics, and Xinchou Lou, associate professor of physics - to study the differences between the behavior of particles known technically as "Bmesons" and their anti-matter counterparts, one of the top priorities in DOE's particle physics research program. The BaBar experiment, as it is called, is taking place in California, utilizing an experimental facility at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center at Stanford University which smashes together electrons and their anti-matter, positrons.

UTD Physics Department to Host Monthly Meetings of Texas Astronomical Society
UT Dallas News Center
RICHARDSON, Texas (Dec. 12, 2005) – The Texas Astronomical Society (TAS) of Dallas, one of the premier amateur astronomy organizations in the country, will begin holding its monthly meetings on the campus of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) starting in January.  The new cooperative arrangement between the two organizations should prove beneficial to students and members of the public, according to a UTD professor involved in bringing the group to the school.
“We believe this partnership will provide tangible benefits to UTD students with an interest, professional or otherwise, in astronomy, as well as to Dallas-area high school students and members of the general public who become involved in joint astronomy-related outreach programs envisioned by the university and TAS,” said Dr. Joe Izen, a professor in UTD’s physics department, which will host the monthly meetings.  “We look forward to working with TAS, and are excited to be able to welcome many of the society’s nearly 600 members to campus each month.” 

Physicists Join Massive Collider in Search for Truths
UT Dallas News Center

The device that may answer how the universe came to be is the largest and one of the most expensive devices ever created.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) sits beneath the surface of the earth along the Franco-Swiss border outside Geneva.  The arms of the world’s largest particle accelerator form a 17-mile tunnel beneath the earth.  Within this tunnel, protons are accelerated to almost the speed of light before being slammed against an opposing stream of protons in a head-on crash of cosmic proportions. 
The goal? To answer such fundamental physics questions as, What is the origin of mass?  What is dark matter?  And, what happens to matter when it’s heated to 100,000 times the temperature at the center of the sun?

U. T. Dallas High Energy Physics Researchers Behind Discovery of Mysterious New Particle
UT Dallas News Center

RICHARDSON, Texas (July 7, 2005) – Scientists from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) High Energy Physics (HEP) Group were instrumental in a discovery disclosed to the scientific community last week of a mysterious new subatomic particle – dubbed Y(4260). The researchers are part of the BaBar experiment, a United States Department of Energy (DOE) particle physics collaborative research program being conducted at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).
The discovery could ultimately provide scientists with a deeper understanding of the makeup of the universe.
Details of the breakthrough are contained in a paper that was submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters. In addition, the discovery was reported last week at a research conference in Uppsalla, Sweden, and an announcement was made, also last week, by SLAC (
Major contributors to the discovery include four researchers from UTD – HEP Group scientist Dr. Shuwei Ye, Professor and Physics Department head Dr. Xinchou Lou, Physics Professor Dr. Joseph Izen and Ph.D. student Glenn Williams. The group’s research is funded by the DOE.

‘Angels’ Lecture to Separate Physics from Fiction
UT Dallas News Center

Its plot centers on a secret society’s mission to destroy the Vatican using a small amount of antimatter. Author Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons novel is a work of fiction set in the all-too-real setting of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics laboratory CERN, before the action moves to the Vatican City and Rome.

The best-selling novel was adapted for celluloid by director Ron Howard and makes its big screen debut May 15. Tom Hanks portrays world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, and parts of the film were actually filmed at the LHC.

Though a compelling page-turner and brilliant blend of science and fiction, elementary particle physicists readily spot when the novel departs from real science and the realm of the possible to the unreal possibility of an antimatter catastrophe, courtesy of the minuscule amounts generated at CERN.
“Antimatter is real, unlike Kryptonite,” said Dr. Joseph M. Izen, a professor of physics.  “There actually was a dedicated experiment at CERN to trap antiprotons and to make antihydrogen a few years ago, but that was not part of the LHC program. There is a conversion of mass to energy when matter and antimatter annihilate, but the quantity of antimatter in Angels & Demons, the trap holding it and its appearance as a floating, pulsating antiblob in the book/movie are fictional plot devices. These days, more antiprotons are being made by the accelerator complex at Fermilab in the U.S. than are being produced at CERN.”

Center is a New Space to Explore the Sciences
UT Dallas News Center

The Science Learning Center’s tile exterior was inspired by two patterns: atomic emission spectra of gases, and human DNA when it is separated in a process called gel electrophoresis.

The Science Learning Center doubles the number of instructional science labs at UT Dallas and brings labs from a variety of disciplines together in one facility.

Classes in chemistry, biology, physics, the geosciences, and science and mathematics education will be taught in the new space.

Designed with the participation of faculty, including Physics Professor Joseph M. Izen, who chaired the building’s advisory committee, every aspect of the facility has been designed to satisfy specific academic goals.

Space Model Brings Vast Distances Down to Scale
UT Dallas News Center

A physics colloquium on Wednesday began with a dedication of a poster that places the closest star to our sun squarely atop UT Dallas.

The event was the result of an effort by the Gruppo Astrofili di Piacenza astronomy club in Italy to illustrate the vastness of space.

The club created an “Astronomy Park” scale model of the solar system using posters to mark the locations of various heavenly bodies. Club members set the scale at 1:5,000,000,000, or about 79,000 miles per inch, so that the model could fit inside a public park in Piacenza, Italy.

Award Funds Student’s Particle Physics Research
UT Dallas News Center

UT Dallas physics student Alex Palmer has won an award from theDepartment of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Programto pursue research on particle physics.

The terms of the fellowship are generous. The $50,500 award includes support for tuition and fees, an annual living stipend and an annual research stipend. It is renewable for up to three years, as long as the fellow makes progress toward a PhD and attends a yearly research conference.

“I’m very excited because it grants me a lot of extra freedom in graduate school,” said Palmer, who will graduate this May with a bachelor’s in physics. “I can likely get into research during my first semester, rather than just taking classes and being a TA. Additionally, if for some reason I decide to switch specialties within physics, I won’t be a year behind.”

UT Dallas Physicists Play Role in Higgs Quest
UT Dallas News Center

University of Texas at Dallas researchers played a role in groundbreaking experiments that led to the discovery of a new elementary particle of matter, one that is “consistent” with the long-sought-after Higgs boson.

When the much-buzzed-about July 4 announcement of the new particle was made by officials at the CERN research facility in Geneva, UT Dallas faculty members, postdoctoral scientists and students involved in the research were positioned around the globe – in China, Australia and Europe.

The research results were so highly anticipated by the scientific community that investigators on-site at CERN, including UT Dallas physics undergraduate student Cyrille Chiari, lined up the night before just to get a seat in the packed auditorium for the early-morning statement.

“To give an idea of how motivated people here are, the fire alarm went off and no one moved an inch,” Chiari said in an email. “It went on for 10 minutes and still no one left.”

Musical Forces Collide
UT Dallas News Center

What began as entertainment at a dinner to celebrate the construction of a Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland culminated in an unusual side project among scientists, including UT Dallas’ Dr. Joe Izen.
Izen, professor of physics and principal investigator for the UT Dallas High Energy Physics Group, works on the ATLAS experiment studying the head-on collisions of high-energy particles. Upon joining ATLAS in 2007, Izen quickly discovered fellow scientists there shared his interest in playing music.
After coming to Dallas to work on the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in 1991, Izen formed a band called Squirrelheads in Gravy to play old-time Southern mountain music for contra dances hosted by the North Texas Traditional Dance Society.

Regents' Teaching Awards Praise 2 UT Dallas Profs
UT Dallas News Center

Two UT Dallas professors are among the 65 faculty members from institutions across The University of Texas System that have been honored by the UT System Board of Regents as recipients of the 2012 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

The UT Dallas honorees are Dr. Joseph Izen, professor of physics; and Dr. Clint Peinhardt, an assistant professor of political science.

“We have a responsibility as a Board to support, encourage and reward our most innovative and effective educators. These annual awards help advance a culture of excellence and recognize outstanding performance in the classroom and laboratory that directly benefit our students for life,” Regents’ Chairman Gene Powell said. “On behalf of the Board of Regents, I congratulate each of these dedicated professionals for their commitment to exceptional teaching and providing an education of the first class for our students.”

Prof Honored for Ability to Unlock Secrets of Physics
UT Dallas News Center

Dr. Joseph Izen, professor of physics at UT Dallas, is one of two faculty members to receive a 2012 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, which recognizes extraordinary performance and dedication to excellence in the classroom.

A total of 65 educators from institutions within the University of Texas System received the 2012 award, which is the highest honor given by the UT System Board of Regents.
Izen learned of his Regents’ Award selection while working on an experiment called ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics located near Geneva, Switzerland. As a member of the ATLAS team, Izen was part of an international research collaboration that recently found compelling evidence for the Higgs boson, a long-sought-after elementary particle.

Nobel Prize Announcement is Reason for UT Dallas Team to Celebrate
UT Dallas News Center

As the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics were announced Tuesday, UT Dallas physics professor Dr. Joe Izen was at a conference in Morocco, surrounded by fellow physicists watching the announcement live via webcast.

“Our room erupted in spontaneous applause as the prize was announced,” Izen said.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize to theorists Peter Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium in recognition of their work developing the theory of how particles of matter acquire mass.

Hundreds of U.S. scientists, including a team from UT Dallas led by Izen, also have reason to celebrate. These experimentalists confirmed the theorists’ ideas in July 2012 when they discovered the so-called Higgs particle, or Higgs boson, at the CERN research facility in Geneva.

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 Additional Information
Dr. Izen is an high energy particle physics experimentalist exploring high-energy proton collisions produced at CERN's Large Hadron collider and electron-positron collisions at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) . He is Principal Investigator of a Department of Energy grant supporting the UT Dallas' High Energy Physics Group work on the ATLAS and BaBar experiments.

  • Henri D. Dickinson Fund Prize, best record of B.S. recipients, Cooper Union, 1977
  • Cooper Union Alumni Association Award, 1977
  • Eli Lilly Teaching Fellow, 1987-1988
  • National Science Foundation – Center for Global Partnership Fellow, 1997-1998
  • University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, 2012
  • CERN Scientific Associate, 2013-2014

Professional Service Activities
Service to the University
  • Faculty Senate (2007-2010, 2011-2013, 2014-2015)
  • Academic Council (2007-2008)
  • GEMS Math and Science Education Council (2008-2010)
Service to the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Chair, Advisory Committee (the “shepherd”) during the design and construction of the UTD
  • Science Learning Center building (2007-2010)
Service to the Physics Department
  • Physics Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (Chair; 2004-2010, member, 2011-present)
  • Physics Graduate Curriculum Committee (2004-2010)
  • Physics Department liason to the Texas Astronomical Society (2005-2010)
  • “On call” to meet with prospective Physics majors and their parents (2006-2010, 2011-present)
Activities with Student Organizations
  • Faculty adviser, Comet Hockey Club (2001-Spring 2010)
  • Co-Faculty adviser, Women in Physics (2007-Spring 2010)
Service External to the University
  • Grant Reviewer, Department of Energy, Division of High Energy Physics
  • Publication Referee, Physical Review/Physical Review Letters
  • ATLAS Collaboration Board
  • ATLAS Pixel Institutional Board
  • BABAR Collaboration Council

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