Sussex EPP Rolling Grant 2009

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Abstract

The work carried out at Sussex supports three experimental particle physics programmes, all recognised as areas of extremely high priority for STFC. First, we are bidding to join the ATLAS collaboraton at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. To this end, two of our faculty - already well established members of ATLAS - will, together with their sub-group, continue their work to identify signatures of the appearance of so-called supersymmetric particles within the ATLAS detector, as well as contributing towards the development of the trigger and the ATLAS upgrade. Second, we provide substantial intellectual leadership in the ongoing search for an electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron. Finding an EDM would represent unambiguous evidence for physics beyond the SM; conversely, the absence of any EDM, at the sensitivity for which we are aiming, would provide extremely severe constraints on models of new physics. This work also provides a link to cosmology, since the size of any neutron EDM is determined by the same CP-violating mechanism that underlies the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe. Third, we have an active programme of neutrino physics. We will maintain our long-standing involvement in the MINOS project, which investigates the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations (the transmutation of neutrinos from one type to another) by sending a beam of neutrinos 734 km through the Earth from Fermilab to a detector in northern Minnesota. We also propose to participate in SNO+, an exciting new project that has emerged from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and which has several physics goals such as the study of geoneutrinos, the measurement of low-energy neutrinos from the Sun, and, possibly most important of all, a measurement of neutrinoless double-beta decay, which could both determine the mass of the neutrino and answer the long-standing question of whether the neutrino is its own antiparticle.

Publications

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Aad G (2010) Commissioning of the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer with cosmic rays in The European Physical Journal C

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Aad G (2010) Readiness of the ATLAS Tile Calorimeter for LHC collisions in The European Physical Journal C

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Aad G (2010) The ATLAS Simulation Infrastructure in The European Physical Journal C

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Aad G (2010) The ATLAS Inner Detector commissioning and calibration in The European Physical Journal C

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Aad G (2010) Charged-particle multiplicities in pp interactions at in Physics Letters B

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ST/H000887/1 01/10/2009 31/03/2011 £531,839
ST/H000887/2 Transfer ST/H000887/1 01/10/2010 30/09/2012 £1,286,003
 
Description Intra European Fellowships (IEF)
Amount £151,706 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 12/2010 
End 12/2012
 
Description Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Amount £390,494 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2007 
End 11/2010
 
Description Royal Society International Travel Grant
Amount £1,200 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2010 
End 09/2010
 
Description SEPnet PhD Studentship
Amount £65,000 (GBP)
Organisation South East Physics Network 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 01/2013
 
Description SEPnet PhD Studentship Award
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation South East Physics Network 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2012
 
Description Interview Argus newspaper (Brighton) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article on LHC phyics in Argus newspaper.

Increased awareness of STFC core science programme regionally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Interview Sydsvenskan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact http://www.sydsvenskan.se/lund/article586713/Forskare-klackte-id%C3%A9er.html.

Not evaluated
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Interview Sydsvenskan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed by the biggest daily regional newspaper in southern Sweden, about a conference for which I was on the local organising committee. It resulted in a newspaper article.

It resulted in a newspaper article.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://sydsvenskan.se/lund/article586713/Forskare-klackte-id%E9er.html
 
Description Interviews BBC Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Member of the group was interviewed twice on the BBC Sussex Breakfast programme to comment on recent developments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

Higher awareness regionally of core STFC research programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Research-based Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact At the University of Sussex, we run a major outreach programme within the department of physics and astronomy, originally set up as part of the SEPnet initiative. The program involves members of the department at all levels, from taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, research students, post doctorial researchers and faculty. We have a wide range of practical activities available to take out to local schools, which are boxed up with a detailed lesson plan for department members to take to take out or use on site. The majority of our outreach activities are linked to our research.

Our annual reach is to 5,000 students per year, working with approximately 800 primary school students, 3500 secondary student, and 700 A-level students, in addition to the 2,000 members of the general public that experience our events. We currently run 130 events per year, reaching school and college students at 60 different schools. We have both schools visiting the University of Sussex campus in Brighton, and we also go out to schools.

Around half of our events involve communicating the research carried out at the University direct to schools, colleges and the public.
25% of our events involve describing our particle physics research, usually consisting of a research talk (about the Large Hadron Collider, SNO+, etc) which is reinforced by practical activities (such as building cloud chambers, or visiting our research labs). 20% of our events directly describe the astronomy research carried out at the University, usually as a research talk (about the Herschel Space Telescope, for instance) alongside practical activities, such as day-time or night-time astronomical observing.

Every week during the school terms, we run a School's Lab day, where a group of students visit the University for as full day of experiments specifically designed for the GCSE, AS and A2 level syllabus. During those days, the students visit a research lab, and get the opportunity to talk with our research students about their work. In addition, visiting A-level students also have a research lecture, and get to here the latest research being done here at Sussex.

Every year, we offer masterclasses in both astronomy and particle physics, with one day aimed at GCSE students, and another at A-level. These days involve research-level talks, visits to labs, as well as hands on experimental experience.


We have developed links with local schools and colleges. Teachers frequently approach us to request research related outreach activities (talks, lab tours, practical activities), ask for advice or to borrow equipment for teaching. In 2013, we ran the Institute of Physics sponsored Physic Update weekend conference for teachers.
Since we began our outreach program, undergraduate numbers has risen significantly within the department, from an intake of 40 students in 2009, up to the current (and sustained) 140 students per year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/physics/outreach
 
Description School Visits to BHHS 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Demonstrated cloud chamber, gave presentation, lively discussions about physics and science in general.

Built links with local school.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Schools Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Groups of 10-15 pupils attended short talks about our research, which always spark discussion and debate.

Has become established part of SEPnet outreach programme. Capability is expanding, to reach more pupils.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description St Paul's Catholic College, Burgess Hill 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 20-30 sixth-formers attended a talk about particle physics and our neutrino research, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards.

Not evaluated
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description St Paul's Catholic College, Burgess Hill 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Ca 30 pupils attended a popular science talk, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards.

Discussion with an engaged audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009