Tae Min Hong


412 Allen Hall
(412) 383-4081
Assistant Professor


Tae Min Hong is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an experimental particle physicist interested in questions related to the fundamental forces of Nature and the basic building blocks of the Universe.

Professor Hong is currently studying proton collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. As a member of the ATLAS Collaboration of about 3000 physicists, his significant contributions are in the trigger system and the discovery of the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is the physical remnant of the once unified interactions of the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force. His work in the Higgs focused on its decay to a pair of the charged carriers of the weak force (H → WW) and in its production by the collision of charged and neutral carriers of the weak force (W or Z bosons) called "vector boson fusion" (VBF).  His current research involves using similar techniques to search for new fundamental particles such as non-standard Higgs bosons, dark matter candidates, supersymmetric particles, or any such new phenomena.  The research touches on three of the five scientific drivers listed by the P5 report: Use the Higgs boson as a new tool for discovery; identify the new physics of dark matter; and explore the unknown: new particles, interactions, and physical principles.

Professor Hong received his AB in physics and mathematics from Harvard University and his MA and PhD in physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Pitt faculty in 2015. Here is his faculty profile; now in the newspaper!


As of 2017, the Hong group consists of

  1. PI Tae Min Hong.
  2. Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Ben Carlson on L1calo trigger, Phase-1 and -2 upgrade simulation, search for VBF Higgs to invisible.  He is stationed at CERN.
  3. Graduate student Ava M. on trigger rate predictions by luminosity scaling. As an undergraduate alum '16, projects for NASA Space Grant (Fall 2015).
  4. Graduate student Yilun G. on L1calo monitoring.
  5. Undergraduate Kaelyn S. '18 on VP1 event display, Phase-2 upgrade simulation, brachytherapy.  Projects for NASA Space Grant (Fall 2015), Chancellor's Fellowship (Spring 2016), Brackenridge Fellowship (Summer 2016), Emil Sanielevici Research Scholarship (Fall 2016).
  6. Undergraduate David D. '18 on VP1 event display, L1calo monitoring.  Projects for NASA Space Grant (Spring 2016), Chancellor's Fellowship (Spring 2017).
  7. Undergraduate Andy A. '19 on trigger rate monitoring in core software, trigger rate access tools and infrastructure. Projects for NASA Space Grant (Spring 2016), winner of the Halliday-Resnick Award for Execellence in Undergraduate Research (Spring 2017).
  8. Undergraduate Dan Z. '20 on trigger rate monitoring in core software, trigger menu database. Projects for the School of Engineering Summer Internship award (Summer 2017).

I collaborate with all of the Pittsburgh faculty on the ATLAS experiment.  They are Professor Joe Boudreau, Professor Jim Mueller, and Professor Emeritus Bill Cleland.  For VP1 I collaborate with Prof. Boudreau and Dr. Riccardo-Maria Bianchi.  We have joint weekly group meetings.  We also share our ATLAS Tier-3 computing center located in the basement of Allen Hall.

If you are an undergraduate student looking for research experience, a graduate student looking for an adviser, or a post-doctoral candidate looking for a research position, please contact him by email.

  • [link] PDG summary table of what we know & do not know
  • [link] CERN webpage on the Higgs
  • [link] ATLAS Briefings on October 7, 2014
  • [link] LHC Seminar on October 7, 2014
  • [link] CERN Courier on October 27, 2014
  • [link] Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5)

Selected Publications

Professor Hong is listed as an author of over 800 (as of 2014) published articles in refereed physics journals (see https://inspirehep.net/author/T.M.Hong.1). Here are representative articles associated with Prof. Hong.

  1. T. M. Hong on behalf of ATLAS and CMS Collaborations, Higgs couplings at the LHC, conference proceedings for Blois 2015, ATL-PHYS-PROC-2015-095 (2015), https://cds.cern.ch/record/2057641.
  2. ATLAS Collaboration, Observation and measurement of Higgs boson decays to WW* with the ATLAS detector, Phys. Rev. D 92, 012006 (2015).
  3. ATLAS Collaboration, Measurements of Higgs boson production and couplings in diboson final states with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, Phys. Lett. B 726 (2013) 88.
  4. ATLAS Collaboration, Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, Phys. Lett. B 716 (2012) 1.
  5. ATLAS Collaboration, Search for the Standard Model Higgs boson in the H→WW(*) →lνlν decay mode with 4.7 fb–1 of ATLAS data at √s=7 TeV, Phys. Lett. B 716 (2012) 62.
  6. ATLAS Collaboration, Measurement of the ZZ production cross section and limits on anomalous neutral triple gauge couplings in proton-proton collisions at √s = 7  TeV with the ATLAS detector, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 (2012) 041804.
  7. BaBar Collaboration, Observation and study of the baryonic B-meson decays B → D(*)pp(π)(π), Phys. Rev. D 85 (2012) 092017.

Recent seminars / invited talks

  1. Dark matter searches at the LHC [pdf], May 17, 2017. Fifth Annual Conference on Large Hadron Collider Physics, Shanghai, China. http://lhcp2017.physics.sjtu.edu.cn
  2. Dark matter searches with ATLAS [pdf, video], May 12, 2017. South American Dark Matter Workshop, ICTP-SAIFR, Sao Paulo, Brazil. http://www.ictp-saifr.org/?page_id=14295
  3. Higgs' invisible branching fraction at the LHC [pdf], April 28, 2016. Particle Physics Seminar at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY. https://indico.bnl.gov/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=1765
  4. Higgs' invisible branching fraction at the LHC, June 20, 2016. Seminar at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
  5. Higgs boson couplings, from combination of all channels [pdf, paper], June 3, 2015. The 27th Rencontres de Blois in Particle Physics and Cosmology, Blois, France. http://blois.in2p3.fr/2015/
  6. Higgs boson decay to WW in the lvlv channel with ATLAS [pdf, video], July 26, 2013. The 4th Higgs Hunting Conference, Orsay, France. http://events.lal.in2p3.fr/conferences/higgshunting2013/
  7. Recent reslts from Higgs boson searches at ATLAS [pdf], October 20, 2011. Brookhaven Forum 2011: A First Glimpse at the Tera Scale, Upton, NY. https://www.bnl.gov/bf2011/
  8. Hot topics at BaBar [pdf], March 16, 2009. Moriond QCD and High Energy Interactions Conference, Moriond, Italy. http://moriond.in2p3.fr/QCD/2009/MorQCD09Prog.html


Term Course Description
2015 Spring PHYS 0175 Undergraduate introductory E&M
2015 Fall PHYS 0175 Undergraduate introductory E&M
2016 Spring - Research at BNL as US ATLAS Scholar
2016 Fall - Research at CERN
2017 Spring PHYS 1378 Undergraduate particle physics
2017 Fall PHYS 0175 Undergraduate introductory E&M
2018 Spring PHYS 310x Graduate seminar: Special topics at the LHC
2018 Fall TBD -
2019 Spring PHYS 1378 Undergraduate particle physics
2019 Fall TBD -

PHYS 0175 is a large class with about 150 students, but with the help of TAs and UTAs I run the class as if it's a small course.  I end up knowing most students who attend the lectures.  My style is to use the blackboard for lectures and incorporate handwritten assignments to give students feedback.