Experimental Particle Physics Rolling Grant 2009-2014

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

This research is aimed at understanding the properties of the basic building blocks of the Universe (the elementary particles) and the nature of the fundamental forces which govern the interactions of these particles. In so doing, deep insights will be gained about the origin and evolution of the Universe, especially in the first moments after the Big Bang. The Lancaster research programme covers all the main types of accelerator facilities and is based on hadron collider physics with the Tevatron (Fermilab) and LHC (CERN) machines, and the observation of long baseline neutrino oscillations in Japan. All of this work will be underpinned by Lancaster's expertise in characterising and understanding the properties of heavily irradiated silicon particle detectors, in operating high performance computing facilities on the Grid and in writing offline event reconstruction software. The hadron collider physics is expected to reveal detailed properties of B hadrons (containing heavy b-quarks) including the mixing of neutral B mesons containing strange quarks, and CP violation which is related to the existence of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. Searches for new physics at the LHC will focus on understanding the origin of mass (and the role of the Higgs boson), the existence of new symmetries of nature (e.g. supersymmetry) and extra spatial dimensions. The neutrino oscillations programme is expected to provide important information about the masses of and the amount of mixing amongst the three known species of neutrinos. If the appearance of electron neutrinos can be observed in a muon neutrino beam then it may be possible, in a further phase of the research, to establish the existence of CP violation in the neutrino sector of the Standard Model. This could have wide reaching implications for the understanding of the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe. The development of new particle accelerator technology for high energy particle physics and a broad range of alternaive applications is the mission of the Cockcroft Institute. The Lancaster group were co-founders of the Institute and remain commited to supporting its evolution.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ST/H00095X/1 30/09/2009 30/03/2011 £808,725
ST/H00095X/2 Transfer ST/H00095X/1 30/09/2010 29/09/2012 £2,285,985
 
Description The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC and the first observation of neutrinos of one type (muon neutrinos) changing into neutrinos of another type (electron neutrinos).
Exploitation Route The research is ongoing and will lead to deeper insights into nature and the properties of the fundamental particles and forces.
Sectors Education

URL http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/physics/research/experimental-particle-physics/