Programme of Research in Experimental Particle Physics at the University of Warwick: 2012-2016.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The scope of the proposed research lies in five distinct areas: the physics of particles containing
the beauty quark at LHCb; the physics of neutrinos with T2K and SuperNEMO; Higgs and new phenomena searches at ATLAS; accelerator research and development for new high intensity proton, muon and neutrino beams; detector R&D. It also includes Outreach and Knowledge Exchange programmes. In more detail:

o We aim to further our research into matter/anti-matter asymmetry (CP Violation) in the decays of Beauty
mesons at the LHCb experiment. This is important, because we have shown in past experiments that
the leading source of CP violation at the weak scale is consistent with the Standard Model mechanism
of CP violation. However, cosmological considerations indicate that there should be other sources
of CP violation in Nature, so we aim to make further sensitive tests with beauty mesons, in order
to see if any evidence for additional sources of CP violation or other new physics in Nature may appear in such decays.

o The elucidation of the properties of neutrinos. These are very light, neutral particles which are
emitted, for example, by the sun, and in radioactive beta decay. They have recently been found to
oscillate, ie. transmute from one type to another, while they propagate. We have built part
of the T2K experiment which is now operating in Japan. Analyses of early data give tantalising hints of the previously unobserved oscillations of muon to electron type neutrinos. We aim to continue running this experiment, hopefully to confirm these preliminary hints. If confirmed, the largeness of the effect will offer the chance to go on to look for asymmetries between the oscillations of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos.
We further plan to contribute to the SuperNEMO experiment, which aims to determine the nature of the neutrino as so called Dirac or Majorana particle. The former has distinct anti-particles, while the latter is its own antiparticle. This question may be resolved by searching for double beta decay accompanied by no neutrinos. We will contribute to the analysis of data obtained by a "demonstrator module" attempting to observe such decays.

o We have recently joined the ATLAS experiment at CERN, a general purpose detector operating at the LHC. Our initial work will be to support the experiment by contributing to its ability to identify interesting events rapidly for recording and further analysis. We will also contribute to the search for the Higgs boson, the last missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics. We will do this by helping to optimise the search for its decays to pairs of tau leptons, heavy relatives of the electron.

o We propose to continue our research and development of high power accelerators for the generation of proton, muon and neutrino beams. We have in mind future neutrino factories, although other machines could benefit from our research. Such neutrino factories, if built, would continue to develop the theme of research into neutrino oscillations and matter-antimatter asymmetry of neutrinos outlined above. Such machines could also bring many benefits to medicine and industry.

o We propose to continue our research and development of position- and energy-sensitive detectors
for applications in neutrino experiments and with potential spin-off applications in industry.

o We will continue to develop our outreach programme which includes activities for local schools
and articles in popular science publications.

o Supported by a strong University strategy and ethos in KE, we will continue to pursue all avenues
for possible knowledge exchange.

Planned Impact

Beneficiaries of the proposed research will include:

o UK industry and academic partners from outside particle physics may benefit from the possibility of technological spin-off from hardware and/or software which we propose to develop as part of the research programme. A derivative of our research on future neutrino detectors has been the issue of two IP licenses with the target being spin-off opportunities in the area of photo-voltaic technology. Another commercial opportunity more directly aimed at UK industry might soon be realised for another invention of the detector R&D group, enabling very cost-effective large area or volume radiation sensors. These initiatives will all be supervised by Warwick Ventures - the university's professional subsidiary for commercial advancement and support. Furthermore, our work in developing innovative reconstruction methods for large-scale neutrino detectors has potential beneficiaries from a range of subjects, including mathematics, computer science biological and medical science. Local contacts to the Warwick Computer Science Department exist as well as a collaboration with the Statistics Department in Durham. Another potentially interesting partner has been identified in Systems Biology at Warwick.

o Local school children and the general public through our outreach programme will learn about cutting-edge research carried out on the building blocks of matter and their fundamental interactions, using state-of the art instrumentation. One of the most effective means of engagement in terms of audience size comes through media coverage. For aspects of our research activity that we feel the public could particularly engage with, we work with the University's Communication Office to issue press releases. This has in the past been successful in generating some rather high profile news coverage e.g. BBC Midlands Today coverage, BBC website items,
BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio exposure as well as university video content organised by the Communications Office. Members of our group will continue to regularly publicise our science through engagements such as public lectures and talks to local clubs and societies. We will also continue to foster and develop close ties with local schools through: our annual Masterclass initiative, hosting local students as part of the Aimhigher initiative, supervising students for summer holiday placements (e.g. as part of the Gold Crest scheme), activities associated with the STEMNET Science and Engineering Ambassadors (e.g. contributions science fairs and exhibitions) and participation in the`I'm a scientist - get me out of here' events.
During the next grants period, we plan a tighter coordination of both the scope and frequency of press releases showcasing our work. Schools liaison will continue to develop with more emphasis placed on interaction with teachers - an area which has received a boost through the recent appointment of a dedicated Ogden Teaching Fellow for the Warwick Physics Department. This year, our group were part of a successful bid to STFC for a Science in Society Small Award to purchase a mobile dome which can be used as a resource to publicise our research. We will work to develop particle physics content for the dome for use on public occasions such as university open days, but also to expand our outreach activities e.g. into primary schools.

o Our post-graduate students currently enjoy access to a diverse range of key-skills training courses laid on by the University. In the future we plan to further exploit opportunities that exist within the University, for joint studentships with industrial partners where the results of research would find an immediate commercial application and would provide students with first-hand industrial/commercial experience. This will benefit industry, gaining access to well-trained people who can help them with tasks such as data mining and modelling, which are of increasing importance.

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description We have made many key measurements in B physics. We have made detailed studies of the Higgs boson, and excluded large areas of parameter space in beyond Standard Model physics. We have made measurements of neutrino oscillations.
Exploitation Route .
Sectors Education

 
Description The story of the discovery of the Higgs boson was on the front pages of many national newspapers worldwide.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title Review of Particle Properties 
Description This is a globally-accessible database of all particle physics results. Many results of this research have entered into this database and several members of my team have directly contributed to this database. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2009 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This database is the research Bible for particle physics. It is universally used and accepted within the particle physics community and is without peer. 
URL http://pdg.lbl.gov
 
Description ATLAS 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department Physics Department
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued operation and data collection at ATLAS as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick and other institutions.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the ATLAS team have provided resources and experimental time to allow for the collection of data which has been used by members of Warwick to produce output for ATLAS, with the appropriate acknowledgements to Warwick staff.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2011
 
Description HPTPC 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Warwick constructed several pieces of kit for the experiment. We provided shift effort whilst the experiment was operating, analysis effort and have managed the event reconstruction framework.
Collaborator Contribution Royal Holloway built the main piece of kit - the High Pressure TPC. UCL provided part of the triggering and particle Identification equipment and Lancaster have been driving forward the offline software framework.
Impact Analysis of this data is still on-going.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HPTPC 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Warwick constructed several pieces of kit for the experiment. We provided shift effort whilst the experiment was operating, analysis effort and have managed the event reconstruction framework.
Collaborator Contribution Royal Holloway built the main piece of kit - the High Pressure TPC. UCL provided part of the triggering and particle Identification equipment and Lancaster have been driving forward the offline software framework.
Impact Analysis of this data is still on-going.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HPTPC 
Organisation Royal Holloway, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Warwick constructed several pieces of kit for the experiment. We provided shift effort whilst the experiment was operating, analysis effort and have managed the event reconstruction framework.
Collaborator Contribution Royal Holloway built the main piece of kit - the High Pressure TPC. UCL provided part of the triggering and particle Identification equipment and Lancaster have been driving forward the offline software framework.
Impact Analysis of this data is still on-going.
Start Year 2016
 
Description HPTPC 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Warwick constructed several pieces of kit for the experiment. We provided shift effort whilst the experiment was operating, analysis effort and have managed the event reconstruction framework.
Collaborator Contribution Royal Holloway built the main piece of kit - the High Pressure TPC. UCL provided part of the triggering and particle Identification equipment and Lancaster have been driving forward the offline software framework.
Impact Analysis of this data is still on-going.
Start Year 2016
 
Description LHcb 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department Large Hadron Collider Beauty Experiment (LHCb)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued operation and data collection at LHcb as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the LHcb team have provided resources and experimental time to allow for the collection of data which has been used by members of Warwick to produce output for LHcb, with the appropriate acknowledgements to Warwick staff.
Impact Any publication which indicates a LHcb Collaboration or authored by 'Aaij, R. and others'
Start Year 2008
 
Description MICE 
Organisation International Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued operation and data collection at MICE as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the MICE team have provided resources and experimental time to allow for the collection of data which has been used by members of Warwick to produce output for MICE, with the appropriate acknowledgements to Warwick staff.
Impact Publications with reference MICE experimental data
Start Year 2006
 
Description Neutrino Factory 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued Research and development into the Neutrino Factory as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick and other institutions.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the Neutrino Factory team have provided resources and ideas to allow for the development of new techniques which have been used by members of Warwick to produce new insights into techniques and equipment.
Impact Publication which make reference to the Neutrino Factory
 
Description SuperNEMO 
Organisation University College London
Department SuperNEMO
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued operation and data collection at SuperNEMO as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the SuperNEMO team have provided resources and experimental time to allow for the collection of data which has been used by members of Warwick to produce output for SuperNEMO, with the appropriate acknowledgements to Warwick staff.
Impact Publications which reference SuperNEMO experimental Data. (No PubMed ID's Available)
Start Year 2010
 
Description T2K 
Organisation T2K Collaboration
Country Global 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research team at The University of Warwick have provides expertise and personnel to help with the continued operation and data collection at ATLAS as well as data analysis and interpretation of results collected by Warwick.
Collaborator Contribution Members of the T2K team have provided resources and experimental time to allow for the collection of data which has been used by members of Warwick to produce output for T2K, with the appropriate acknowledgements to Warwick staff.
Impact All publications which have used T2K data.
 
Title ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT DETECTION 
Description A device (1), such as a detector or imaging device, for detecting ultraviolet light, is described. The device comprises a housing (4) for a chamber. Disposed within the housing is a charge carrier multiplier structure (9) comprising a dielectric sheet (10) having first and second opposite faces (11, 12) and having an array of holes (16) traversing the dielectric sheet between the first and second faces. The device includes a photocathode (13) supported on the first face of the dielectric sheet, having a work function of less than 6 eV. The device includes an anode (14) supported on the second face of the dielectric sheet. 
IP Reference WO2015150765 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact iCURE fellowship award, scoping route to market.
 
Title LAURA++ Package 
Description C++ Package for Dalitz plot generation and fitting 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Use in other particle physics experiments 
URL https://laura.hepforge.org
 
Title Particle tracking code in high pressure gas TPCs 
Description Software is a general particle tracking code for use in high-resolution tracking detectors, such as TPCs. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Used in the T2K experiment to generate the latest results. General use for upcoming high-resolution experiments 
 
Company Name UVdyne Ltd. 
Description UVdyne Ltd. is a micro-SME which has arisen from an academic collaboration at Warwick between two very different branches of Physics, namely Surface, Interface & Thin Film Science (Dr. Gavin Bell) and High Energy Particle Physics (Dr. Yorck Ramachers). We have combined our expertise in surface modification and particle physics detectors to invent a new method for detecting ultra-violet light. Our company is devoted to developing new detection technologies which exploit this method, with a wide variety of potential applications in, for example, environmental protection, fire safety and the hydrogen economy. 
Year Established 2014 
Impact We are a very new company with 4 members. In our first year of activity we have obtained InnovateUK support plus private investment to develop a demonstrator device.
Website http://www.uvdyne.co.uk/
 
Description High Pressure Gas TPC as neutrino detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Talk to Warwick Physics Society attended by Warwick physics undergraduates and postgraduates. Talk generated questions and increased interest in postgraduate work in this area by final year undergraduates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MICE Talk at ICHEP2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk was an update of the MICE experiment at a major international conference, ICHEP16 in Chicago. Talk sparked questions and showed that MICE was starting to produce physics level results.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact talk led to interesting discussion with public on this area and the science around it

talk sparked interest in students moving onto University. A number of students remembered the talk and discussed it at Institutional Open Days.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description ScienceTalk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public talk about accelerators and their use. Talk generated interest with the public and led to a discussion of blue-skies vs applied science funding.

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Warwick Particle Physics Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 50-60 Warwickshire sixth form students and their teachers attended

Very positive feedback both directly and from questionaire forms
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Warwick Particle Physics Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 50-60 Warwickshire school children attended and their teachers.

The feedback we receive from Masterclass days are always very positive i.e. we are clearly inspiring students with a scientific mind to pursue particle physics further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019