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Souvik Das

Assistant Professor | College of Engineering and Science - Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Dr Das is a high energy physicist investigating the subatomic, elementary structures of reality through experiment. He is passionate about teaching physics. He also sustains professional interests in quantum computing and neuromorphic artificial intelligence.

Dr Das has worked on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider since 2006. His contributions to detector instrumentation and analyses at CMS led up to the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. Dr Das has since led analyses at CMS to shed light on electroweak symmetry breaking in the early universe by looking for Higgs bosons produced in pairs at proton-proton collisions. He leads instrumentation efforts for the next-generation CMS detector dedicated to discover new physics. Dr Das predicted and was the first to observe three-body electromagnetic decays of mesons containing charm quarks at the CLEO-c experiment at Cornell.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Experimental High Energy Physics. Cornell University. 2011
  • M.S. Physics. Cornell University. 2007
  • B.Sc. Honours Physics. University of Delhi, St. Stephen's College. 2003

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor at the Department of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences. Florida Institute of Technology. November 2023 - Present
  • Graduate Faculty by Appointment at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Purdue University. March 2023 - November 2023
  • Graduate Faculty by Appointment at the School for Industrial Engineering. Purdue University. August 2020 - November 2023
  • Purdue Quantum Informatics and Data Analytics Team. Invited member. November 2019 - November 2023
  • Engineering Physicist (Principal Investigator). Purdue University. July 2017 - November 2023
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate. Purdue University. March 2017 - July 2017
  • Postdoctoral Associate. University of Florida. April 2011 - March 2017
  • Visiting Fellow. Cornell University. August 2010 - February 2011

Current Courses

  • PHY 5017, Electromagnetic Theory - I (Graduate-level Classical Electrodynamics)

Selected Publications

For the full list of publications, see hHEP index 184. Total citations 168,862
  • S. Das, et al., “Charged particle tracking in real-time using a full-mesh data delivery architecture and associative memory techniques”, Journal of Instrumentation, Vol 17, P12002, December 202

  • S. Das, A. Shankar, V. Aggarwal, “Training spiking neural networks with a multi-agent evolutionary robotics frame- work”, GECCO ’21: Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. June 2021. Pages 858 – 865

  • S. Das, A. J. Wildridge, S. B. Vaidya, A. Jung, “Track clustering with a quantum annealer for primary vertex reconstruction at hadron colliders”, hep-ex:1903.08879, 2019. In peer review

  • CMS Collaboration, “Combination of searches for Higgs boson pair production in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122:121803, 2019, hep-ex:1811.09689

  • CMS Collaboration, “Search for resonant pair production of Higgs bosons decaying to bottom quark-antiquark pairs in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV”, J. High Energ. Phys. 2018:152, 2018, hep-ex:1806.03548

  • S. Das, “A simple alternative to the Crystal Ball function”, hep-ex:1603.08591, 2016

  • CMS Collaboration, “Search for resonant pair production of Higgs bosons decaying to two bottom quark-antiquark pairs in proton-proton collisions at 8 TeV”, Phys. Lett. B, 749:560, 2015, hep-ex:1503.04114

  • CMS Collaboration, “Search for the standard model Higgs boson produced in association with a W or a Z boson and decaying to bottom quarks”, Phys. Rev. D 89:012003, 2014, hep-ex:1310.3687

  • CMS Collaboration, “Search for a Higgs boson decaying into a b-quark pair and produced in association with b quarks in proton-proton collisions at 7 TeV”, Phys. Lett. B 722:207, 2013, hep-ex:1302.2892

  • CMS Collaboration, “Search for the standard model Higgs boson decaying to bottom quarks in pp collisions at 7 TeV”, Phys. Lett. B 710:284, 2012, hep-ex:1202.4195

  • CLEO Collaboration 2012, “Observation of the Dalitz decay D∗+ → D+e+e−”, Phys. Rev. D 86: 072005, 2012

  • S. Das, K. Ecklund, B. Kreis, A. Ryd, S. Stroiney, and J. Thompson, “CMS Pixel Online Software and Calibrations”, CMS Detector Note 2012:012

  • S. Das, et. al.,“Trigger strategies for Higgs searches in 2011”, CMS Analysis Note AN-11-065

  • S. Das, “Observation of the Dalitz Decay of the First Excited State of the Charmed-Strange Meson”, Cornell University Ph.D. Dissertation, 2011

  • S. Das, “Status and performance of the Compact Muon Solenoid pixel detector”, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A623:147, 2010

  • S. Das, O. Narayan, and S. Ramaswamy, “Ratchet for energy transport between identical reservoirs”, Phys. Rev. E 66, 050103(R), 2002

Recognition & Awards

  • Co-PI. Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute Seed Research Grant Award 2020
  • LPC Distinguished Researcher 2015 awarded by Fermilab and the LPC
  • LPC Distinguished Researcher 2014 awarded by Fermilab and the LPC
  • American Physical Society Student Travel Grant Award 2010 awarded by the Department of Particle and Fields
  • CMS Achievement Award 2009 awarded by the CMS Collaboration Board
  • Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana Fellowship 2001–2003 awarded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, and the Indian Institute of Science



Current Research

High Energy Physics

A silicon-based particle detector called the Inner Tracker lies at the center of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC will soon be upgraded to deliver significantly higher rates of proton-proton collisions. Dr Das is working on rebuilding the CMS Inner Tracker to handle these rates in an effort called the Phase II Upgrade so that new physics may be discovered and known physics may be measured more precisely.

With the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 that Dr Das played a role in, unification of the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force was complete. That is, both forces are now understood with experimental certainty to have split apart from one unified electroweak force in the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. However, the mechanism of the split remains unknown. Dr Das uses data collected at the CMS experiment to shed light on this mechanism. He does this by looking for Higgs bosons produced in pairs at every proton-proton collision. Understanding this mechanism, known technically as Electroweak Symmetry Breaking, could shed light on the preponderance of matter over antimatter in our universe.

Quantum Computing

Dr Das leads the development of quantum annealing algorithms on D-Wave processors for high energy physics applications.

Neuromorphic Artificial Intelligence

Dr Das studies the interplay of evolutionary and lifetime learning mechanisms in spiking neural networks to understand the emergence of biological intelligence.

Selected Past Research

Contributions to the Discovery of the Higgs boson

March 2006 - October 2012. CERN, Cornell University. Dr Das was the lead developer for online data acquisition applications suite used to operate the Pixel Detector of the CMS experiment that was critical to the discovery of the Higgs boson. He developed, maintained and characterized new triggers for the ZH channel of the H→bb analysis through 2011 and 2012 of Run I data taking.

Design and Assembly of CMS Phase II Inner Tracker

April 2017 - October 2023. Purdue University. Dr Das led the design and fabrication of novel structural materials for CMS Phase II Inner Tracker. This involved diamond-doped carbon fibers and radiation hard thermal interface materials. He developed apparatuses to measure thermal conductivities of anisotropic materials. Dr Das also led the assembly and testing of Phase II Inner Tracker modules across 3 universities.

Track-Triggering with CMS Phase II Outer Tracker

January 2014 - March 2017. Fermilab, University of Florida. Dr Das led the US CMS effort to simulate track-triggering with Associative Memories for CMS Phase II Upgrades. He developed a new algorithm for track fitting with low latency on FPGAs. He also developed two software packages to model latencies in the hardware.

First Observation of a Dalitz decay in the heavy quark sector

July 2009 - August 2010. Cornell University. Dr Das theoretically predicted and observed with 5.3 sigma significance the first three-body decay in the charm sector at the CLEO experiment. He also measured the branching fraction and found it to be consistent with his theoretical prediction.

Heat Conduction in a One-Dimensional Gas of Elastically Colliding Particles of Unequal Masses

May 2001 - November 2002. Dr Das developed computer simulations of atomistic models of heat conduction in one dimension to address fundamental questions about the relation between Fourier's Law of Heat Conduction and the underlying microscopic dynamics. He also studied ratchet-like mechanisms of energy transport in such systems.

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