Director CHOI Kiwoon, a former professor at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), is a scholar in the field of theoretical particle physics. He was named a Thomson Citation Laureate by Thomson Scientific in 2007, and a National Distinguished Scholar by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and Korea Research Foundation. In 2011, he was awarded the Korea Science Award by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and National Research Foundation of Korea.
The IBS Center for Theoretical Physics of the Universe carries out research on particle physics and cosmology, which aims to understand nature at the most fundamental level and answer the questions about the origin of the universe.
The Standard Model of particle physics and Einstein's General Relativity provide an accurate description of almost all known physical phenomena over scales from the subnuclear to the cosmic. However, there are many reasons to believe that the Standard Model and General Relativity are not the final story, but merely a kind of approximation to a more fundamental theory. Astonishingly, the most compelling reason comes from cosmic observations; the existence of dark matter and matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe which can not be explained by the Standard Model. As another compelling reason, the naturalness argument for electroweak symmetry breaking in the Standard Model suggests a possibility of new physics at energy scales around TeV. The quest for unification and a theory of quantum gravity also lead us to speculate about more fundamental theoretical frameworks, such as grand unification and string theory.
The prime theme of our research is new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, which can provide an answer to the following questions:
We are living in a very exciting era for particle physics and cosmology. What is the next fundamental theory that underlies the Standard Model of particle physics? We may be able to uncover it in the near future.
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