Guy Blaylock
Associate professor of physics at the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Guy and Al  
Physics Department; LGRT Rm 1127B
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-0120


selected classes


1998 Lilly Teaching Fellowship
2007 UMass Distinguished Teaching Award 
2007 NSM College Outstanding Teaching Award 

2010 RFYE Student Choice Award
2012 RFYE Student Choice Award
2014 RFYE Student Choice Award

Research History

1981-82 CDF -- The CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) experiment is a proton-antiproton collider experiment that studied weak W and Z bosons in the 1980's and is famous for the top quark discovery in the 1990's. It's best-known current research is the search for the Higgs boson. My contribution as a graduate student was in design studies for the muon system before the detector was built.

1982-86 MarkIII -- The MarkIII experiment at SLAC was an electron-positron collider for charm physics at the Psi charmonium resonances. My graduate thesis on this experiment was a measurement of D meson branching fractions.

1986-90 UA2 -- The UA2 (Underground Area 2) experiment at CERN was famous as the co-discoverer (with, you guessed it, UA1) of the W and Z bosons in 1983. I joined the collaboration as a CERN scientific associate and later took a CERN staff appointment to contribute to the first precision measurements of W and Z characteristics.

1990-00 SLD -- The SLD experiment at SLAC was the first high energy electron-positron linear collider. It used the Stanford 2-mile linear accelerator to produce Z bosons for high precision studies. My work on this experiment involved development of an energy spectrometer for beam energy measurements and B meson studies. My graduate student, Cheng-Ju Stephen Lin, wrote his Ph.D. thesis on a search for Bs mixing.

1991-98 E791 -- The E791 experiment at Fermilab was a fixed target charm hadroproduction experiment for studying weakly decaying charmed mesons and baryons. One of its claims to fame was the largest dataset of its time, about equal to the information content of the Library of Congress, which was stored on video cassette tape. My work on this experiment was in reconstruction software and a search for D meson mixing.

1997-2004 BaBar -- BaBar at SLAC was one of two B factories that made high statistics measurements of B mesons, especially CP violation measurements. My work on this experiment involved supervising undergraduate projects on calorimeter reconstruction software, neural net data selection techniques, and Ds meson branching fractions.

2003-2008 VERITAS -- The VERITAS collaboration is an outgrowth of the very successful Whipple collaboration, which has been known for studies of very high energy gamma ray showers since the 1980's. The VERITAS project is a four-telescope array, which started data taking in October 2004. My work on this experiment was in software development for database and repository systems, and in neural net algorithms for gamma ray selection.

Current Interests

Since 2012, I’ve been developing a website ( to help teachers and parents teach science. The site hosts a growing library of bite-sized science demonstrations, experiments, activities and lessons designed to help teach a variety of science topics, inspire a range of pasttimes, or simply entertain your inner geek. Materials are freely available for educational or personal use. The site is jointly developed and refereed by science specialists and educators. The goal is to develop lesson plans around the kinds of online materials, active-learning activities, and cutting-edge topics that field specialists know about, and package them in a highly indexed, searchable, and reviewable way, so that non-specialists can easily discover and use thems. Think wikipedia for science teachers.  Please feel free to browse the library, download and test materials, rate the lessons, comment, share and contribute.

diceEinstein's Dice
I am currently (and for quite a while now) writing a lay book on quantum mechanics, which uses examples from modern technology to explain the fundamentals of quantum theory and connect to the experience of modern audiences. For instance, the field of quantum cryptography demonstrates the nature of “superposition” (the ability to take on two conflicting qualities at the same time) and uses this feature of quantum systems to generate unbreakable cryptographic codes. Interaction-free measurements determine certain characteristics of physical systems without any apparent contact with them, thereby illustrating some of the peculiarities of quantum observation. Quantum tunneling provides one of the clearest examples of quantum uncertainty and demonstrates how it is an inescapable feature of quantum systems. The quantum teleporter, designed in 1993 and demonstrated in the lab in 1997, illustrates the nature of quantum entanglement. Experiments with quantum erasers, which reverse the effects of measurement disturbance, offer a unique insight into the nature of measurement. Quantum computing employs almost all of the subtle features of quantum mechanics and has motivated much of our modern thinking about the behavior of quantum states. Sadly, most of these examples are fully described only in advanced texts. This is a lost opportunity for teaching lay audiences that I try to redress in my book. Preface and chapter 1 available online.


robotDr. Frankenstein's Lego

In 2010 and 2011 I directed a program for 9-14 year olds in Lego robotics at The Philadelphia School. In this program, children are introduced to the rudiments of robotic design and programming using the Lego Mindstorms™ system. Kids work in teams designing, constructing and programming robots to perform a variety of activities such as fetching a ball, following a track on the floor, navigating a maze, playing tag, reading and playing music, and drawing pictures. Future design challenges may also include parking a car (video), playing a piano (video), solving Rubik’s cube (video), and taking over the world (still in development). more info

Work with me

Volunteers needed to help develop science lessons for (described above). There are many ways to contribute: help with graphic design, shoot and edit videos, construct and test experiments, or research and write your own science lessons. Login and sign up for a free account to explore the authoring tools. Sciphile lessons are peer reviewed and published in a fashion similar to peer-reviewed research journals.

Selected Talks


from Inspire HEP database here

  UMass Physics

Last updated 5 February 2018