Particle Physics Theory at Royal Holloway and Sussex

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

Abstract

The proposed research unites the particle theory groups at Sussex and Royal Holloway in the hunt for new physics under three broad headings: Collider and low-energy phenomenology The Large Hadron Collider boosts protons to velocities so close to that of light that their effective mass grows by a factor of 7000. By smashing these particles together there are new discoveries to be made, and new theories of physics to test. We will work on the complex task of relating the debris of these collisions to the new models put forward by theorists to explain some of the most puzzling questions of the universe - what is the origin of mass? and is there a quantum theory of gravity? Particle astrophysics and cosmology Perhaps the most active area of research in the past decade has been at the interface between particle physics and cosmology. In order to understand the history of the universe we must understand physical laws in the first moments of the Big Bang, when temperatures and particle energies were huge. Conversely, by detailed observations of the universe today we can trace back the conditions and make deductions about physical laws at high energies. Our research will tackle four big questions about the universe: why is there more matter than antimatter? what is dark matter? is there any evidence out there for strings or string theory? and how does the expansion of the universe accelerate? Theories of fundamental forces One of the major problems in modern theoretical physics is the extrapolation of physical laws to new length or energy scales. We wish to push our understanding to ever more extreme situations such the collisions of particles in the Large Hadron Collider, or the very early universe. Our research will develop our theoretical tools and extrapolate the physics of elementary particles and gravity to new regimes of energy, in the quest to understand particles and forces in a unified framework.

Planned Impact

The impact of the research of the Theoretical Particle Physics group is entirely through outreach, within the University though courses given to Arts and Humanities students, and outside to schoolchildren and the wider public. Our outreach activities have been dramatically boosted by the appointment of a dedicated half-time Outreach Officer for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Darren Baskill, funded by the SEPnet regional physics initiative. He works under the direction of Dr Mike Hardiman, an experienced faculty member spending 15% of his time on his role as Outreach Director. Other members of the department devoted to outreach include science writer John Gribbin and Jonathan Hare, visiting lecturer in Science Communication and member of the BBC TV's Rough Science team. During 2009/10 3000 people have already engaged in departmental outreach activities, at over 100 events. Over 1600 school children from 50 schools have experienced our outreach first hand. Connection with the secondary school population is the current priority and events specifically directed at school students include the following: * Our weekly schools lab workshops (suitable for GCSE, A-level and AS-level students) run every Friday throughout the school year. Research talks are organised by applicant Stephan Huber, and often include members of the Theoretical Particle Physics group. * We host the SEPnet GCSE revision event roadshow 3-4 times a year, where 60--150 school children visit the University to perform a host of physics and astronomy experiments for the day. * We organised a Particle Physics Masterclass for the first time at Sussex in 2010. * Twice a month we host star parties for local schools on the roof of the physics and astronomy building, with our new 12" Meade LX200 proving the focal point. * Our monthly public talks, co-organised by the Institute of Physics, have attendances of 50--150, many of which are local six-form students. * Our resident school physics teacher, David Daniels of Hove Park School, also runs activities for the Gifted and Talented students, students who are considering studying a science degree in the future. * Members of the group advertise talks for Schools on the departmental Outreach website. Most recently, investigator Mark Hindmarsh visited BHASVIC, the largest 6th form college in the area, to give a well-attended talk entitled "How long is a piece of cosmic string" * John Gribbin and Darren Baskill jointly teach a course "Our Place in the Universe(s)" to Arts and Humanities students at Sussex. * Investigator Litim convenes another Arts and Humanities course "From Quarks to the Cosmos", consisting of lectures and seminars given by members of the Department of Physics & Astronomy from all research groups. This year students will hear from investigators Huber (matter-antimatter symmetry) and Calmet (black holes).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The ambitious research programme laid out in this grant covered a variety of interlaced topics ranging from particle phenomenology over astroparticle physics to the fundamentals of quantum gravity and quantum field theory. The grant's output has dealt with some of the fundamental puzzles of particle physics, specifically the physics of the electroweak scale, the evolution of the Universe in terms of the fundamental laws of physics, and the search for a common description of the forces and particles of Nature including gravitation.

A substantial output in research publications has been achieved, documenting the success of the programme. The recognition of results by the community is equally well documented through citations, numerous invitations for plenary contributions at conferences, and through the groups involvement in international advisory panels and working groups.
Exploitation Route Our results will inform future research strategies, experiments, and experimental searches for new physics at colliders and in an astrophysical context, and the modelling of fundamental theories beyond the Standard Model including gravity.
Sectors Education,Other

 
Description Our findings have informed experimental groups including at the Large Hadron Collider, and have helped putting bounds on the fundamental parameters of particle physics and cosmological models. Our findings also inform future experiments aimed at detecting gravitational waves. Many of our results have impacted the on-going theoretical developments in particle physics and quantum gravity research.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Education,Other
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Plenary Speaker for UK Particle Theory at PPAP community meeting (RAL, Jul 21-22, 2014)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Chancellor's International Research Scholarships (Sussex)
Amount £116,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Sussex 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 07/2019
 
Description Conacyt - Mexican fully funded PhD studentship (3.5 years, maintenance and oversea fees)
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) 
Sector Public
Country Mexico
Start 02/2012 
End 09/2015
 
Description Marie Curie
Amount € 221,600 (EUR)
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2016
 
Description Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, Greece
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID grant F-ZG066/2010-2011 
Organisation Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description Science without Borders (Brazil)
Amount £132,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Brazil 
Department Science without Borders
Sector Public
Country Brazil
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description Studentship (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)
Amount € 40,000 (EUR)
Organisation German National Academic Foundation 
Sector Public
Country Germany
Start 01/2012 
End 01/2015
 
Description Asymptotic safety and holography 
Organisation International School for Advanced Studies
Country Italy 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Exchange of expertise, in particular RG techniques.
Collaborator Contribution Workforce (student).
Impact A publication and conference proceedings: Running of Planck mass and Higgs VEV in holographic vs. 4-dimensional RG D.F. Litim (Sussex U.), R. Percacci (SISSA, Trieste & INFN, Trieste), L. Rachwal (SISSA, Trieste & ICTP, Trieste). 2012. 8 pp. Published in J.Phys.Conf.Ser. 343 (2012) 012098 DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/343/1/012098 Conference: C11-08-07 Proceedings 2) Scale-dependent Planck mass and Higgs VEV from holography and functional renormalization Daniel F. Litim (Sussex U.), Roberto Percacci (SISSA, Trieste & INFN, Trieste), Leslaw Rachwal (SISSA, Trieste & ICTP, Trieste). Sep 2011. 11 pp. Published in Phys.Lett. B710 (2012) 472-477 DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2012.03.014 e-Print: arXiv:1109.3062 [
Start Year 2011
 
Description Asymptotic safety and quantum gravity (Falls) 
Organisation Heidelberg University
Department Institute for Theoretical Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration with former PhD student and postdoc.
Collaborator Contribution Joint research aimed at the impact of higher order curvature invariants in 4d quantum gravity.
Impact Several publications are in preparation; several publications have appeared.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Asymptotic safety in gauge-Yukawa theories (Sannino) 
Organisation Technical University of Denmark
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise in perturbative and non-perturbative RG and asymptotic safety, and the analysis of QFTs with interacting fixed points.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise with the perturbative RG in gauge-yukawa theories.
Impact Two publications, a third one in preparation. 1. Vacuum stability of asymptotically safe gauge-Yukawa theories Daniel F. Litim, Matin Mojaza, Francesco Sannino JHEP 1601 (2016) 081 DOI: 10.1007/JHEP01(2016)081 2. Asymptotic safety guaranteed Daniel F. Litim Francesco Sannino, JHEP 1412 (2014) 178 DOI: 10.1007/JHEP12(2014)178
Start Year 2013
 
Description Asymptotic safety meets particle physics (Hiller) 
Organisation Technical University of Dortmund
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Evaluation of quantum gravity signatures at the LHC such as dijets, digamma, mono-photons, missing transverse energy, quantum black hole signatures. Goal of collaboration: Exchange of expertise, joint supervision and training of students.
Collaborator Contribution Partners contribute particle phenomenology expertise including event generators to provide bounds on theory parameters from experiment.
Impact Four workshops by 2016: http://people.het.physik.tu-dortmund.de/~pschuh/ASMeeting/index.html http://www.phys.susx.ac.uk/~dl79/ASmeetsPP.html Results have been presented (Moriond EW 2014) and several publications are presently being finalised.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Helsinki Visiting Professorship 
Organisation CSC – IT Centre for Science
Country Finland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration on theory papers, co-supervision of student research.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on theory papers HPC resources 20% salary, travel expenses
Impact DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.251601 DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/10/042 DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/04/001 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.92.123009 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.103533 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.97.123513 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.103520 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.95.063520 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.251601
Start Year 2012
 
Description Helsinki Visiting Professorship 
Organisation University of Helsinki
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on theory papers, co-supervision of student research.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on theory papers HPC resources 20% salary, travel expenses
Impact DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.251601 DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/10/042 DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/04/001 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.92.123009 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.103533 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.97.123513 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.103520 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.95.063520 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.251601
Start Year 2012
 
Description LHCb physics 
Organisation University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Department Department of Physics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Trained collaborator (my former postdoc) Theoretical work on LHCb physics
Collaborator Contribution Theoretical work on LHCb physics
Impact Several publications on LHCb physics and on medium-energy physics. At least two further publications anticipated
Start Year 2010
 
Description Non-perturbative supersymmetry (Wipf) 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution RG expertise and supervision of students
Collaborator Contribution Workforce, expertise on supersymmetry
Impact Two publications: 1) Critical behavior of supersymmetric O(N) models in the large-N limit Daniel F. Litim (Sussex U.), Marianne C. Mastaler, Franziska Synatschke-Czerwonka, Andreas Wipf (Jena U.). Jul 2011. 13 pp. Published in Phys.Rev. D84 (2011) 125009 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.125009 e-Print: arXiv:1107.3011 2) Phases of supersymmetric O(N) theories Marianne Heilmann (Jena U., TPI), Daniel F. Litim (Sussex U.), Franziska Synatschke-Czerwonka, Andreas Wipf (Jena U., TPI). Aug 2012. 23 pp. Published in Phys.Rev. D86 (2012) 105006 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.86.105006 e-Print: arXiv:1208.5389
Start Year 2011
 
Description Precision B physics 
Organisation Technical University of Munich
Department Department of Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Higher-order QCD calculations for B physics
Collaborator Contribution Higher-order QCD calculations for B physics
Impact Several publications on the topic in the past, at least one further anticipated
 
Description Quantum gravity and matter (Pawlowski) 
Organisation Heidelberg University
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sussex contributes expertise in the study of of RG equations on curved backgrounds; training of students and postdocs.
Collaborator Contribution Partners contribute expertise and workforce for the study of RG equations on flat backgrounds.
Impact Two publications have arisen out of this activity thus far, and more publications are in preparation. 1) Asymptotic freedom of Yang-Mills theory with gravity Sarah Folkerts (Heidelberg U.), Daniel F. Litim (Sussex U.), Jan M. Pawlowski (Heidelberg U. & Darmstadt, EMMI). Jan 2011. 16 pp. Published in Phys.Lett. B709 (2012) 234-241 DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2012.02.002 e-Print: arXiv:1101.5552 2) Fixed points and infrared completion of quantum gravity Nicolai Christiansen (Heidelberg U.), Daniel F. Litim (Sussex U.), Jan M. Pawlowski (Heidelberg U. & Darmstadt, EMMI & Darmstadt, GSI), Andreas Rodigast (Heidelberg U.). Sep 2012. 4 pp. Published in Phys.Lett. B728 (2014) 114-117 DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2013.11.025
Start Year 2010
 
Title LATfield2 
Description LATfield2 is a C++ library designed to simplify writing parallel codes for solving partial differential equations on cartesian meshes, developed for application to classical field theories in particle physics and cosmology. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Publication in Nature Physics. http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys3673.html Press interest: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/udg-teo030216.php https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/07/new-simulation-dark-energy-expansion-of-universe-einstein 
URL http://www.latfield.org/
 
Description Lectures, DESY MC School 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lectures on QCD resummation for PhD students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Lectures, HEP 2014 School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lectures on QED for experimental PhD students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Panelist, Stony Brook 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Workshop "Search 2013", Stony Brook University, New York, U.S., 20-22 August 2013,
panelist on "Standard Model background".


I was invited to lead a discussion session of "Standard Model background" to future discoveries at colliders. This is aimed at giving future research directions in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Particle Physics Masterclass (Sussex) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Acitivities sparked many questions and discussion.

In a survey of year 1 UGs this year, one reported attending the PPMC and being favourably influenced by outreach towards physics and Sussex.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Pleary talk, Durham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Exclusive jet cross sections in Higgs production", Workshop "Resummation and Parton
Showers 2013", 15-17 July 2013, 50 participants.


I was invited to this workshop for experts to give an overview to the state of the art of research in jet physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, ATLAS meeting, Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact "Exclusive jet cross sections", ATLAS-UK Higgs Workshop, Edinburgh, U.K., 26-27 September 2013, 50 participants.


Invited plenary talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, Aspen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact "Higgs production and jet veto"
Workshop "Higgs Quo Vadis", Aspen, U.S., 10-15 March 2013, 100 participants.


I was invited at this workshop reserved for experts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, Berkeley 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact "Flavored jets"
Workshop on Heavy Flavor Production at Hadron Colliders, Berkeley, U.S., 14-16 Jan-
uary 2013, 50 participants.


Invited talk to workshop for selected experts in jet and flavour
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, DIS conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Summary of the Working Group "QCD and hadronic final states" XXI International
Workshop on Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects "DIS 2013", Marseille,
France, 22-26 April 2013, 300 participants.


I was organiser of the "Hadronic final state session" and I was giving the summary of the work of my working group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, ESI, Vienna 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact ESI Program on "Jet and Quantum Fields for LHC and Future Colliders", Vienna,
Austria, 1 August 2013, 50 participants.


Invited lecture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Plenary talk, NExT meeting, Southampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact NExT meeting on "BSM physics in the light of LHC, Planck results and ?13 discovery",
Southampton, U.K., 27 November 2013, 50 participants.


Invited by NExT institute to give a summary of research activity in Higgs plus jets
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Public talk "Discovering the Higgs boson", University of Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public talk about the discovery of the Higgs boson for general public at the University of Sussex

The talk is part of a series of evening public talks that are offered by members of staff of the University of Sussex to enhance the learning experience of high-school and university students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description School visit (Tunbridge Wells) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Questions and discussion.

School asked if current A Level pupils could visit University of Sussex physics department.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Schools lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Ca 200 students from different schools attended different presentations by me related to my research over the last few years.

Ca 20 teachers attended talks given by me as part of continuous professional development.


As a result of my talks to pupils further discussions in schools took place and were evidenced.
Feedback from teaching attending my talks evidences that teachers took away ideas for improving their teaching.
As a result (in part) of this, public engagement impact at Sussex has been evidenced through a REF case study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/physics/outreach
 
Description Talk (WP Sussex) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 15 pupils attended a talk on my research ("The Sound of the Big Bang")

too early to say
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Talk (public, Sussex) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 300 people (public, colleagues, university students, and school students) attended my professorial inaugural lecture "Gone in a Yoctosecond: a Rough Guide to the Big Bang").

Stream available on Sussex web: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/sussexlectures/2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Talk for experts, CERN 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact "Jet-veto efficiency", CERN Workshop "Jet issues in Higgs Physics", 21 May 2013, 20 expert participants.


Injvited talk at a CERN group for experts in particle physics phenomenology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013