Supplementary Consumables for the Sheffield Particle Physics Programme Consolidated Grant

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


This bid concerns Supplementary Consumables for use in connection with the Sheffield Particle Physics Programme Consolidated Grant awarded in late 2012. We are living in an exceptional age for discoveries in particle physics and particle astrophysics with potential for producing step changes in understanding of the composition of matter and the structure of the Universe. The research we plan with this consolidated grant in particle physics and particle astrophysics at Sheffield is at the core of these discoveries. Firstly, we appear to be near answering the fundamental question of what gives particles mass. In this field Sheffield will continue to play a leading role in the ATLAS experiment that now looks to be on the verge of solving the mystery by detecting the famous Higgs Boson. Our ATLAS work, where we are currently the only UK group heavily involved in the flagship 4-lepton channel Higgs search, will aim to confirm the first evidence for excess reported in Dec. 2011. Simultaneously work will continue in the equally fundamental hunt to find supersymmetric particles and on radiation modeling and detector tests for the ATLAS upgrade anticipated as the next experiment. We currently provide the UK spokesman for ATLAS.
A second recent major advance, made by the T2K experiment in 2011, reports evidence for a non-zero third neutrino mixing angle. This potentially unlocks progress to experiments in so-called charge-parity (CP) violation to answer the mystery of why the Universe contains matter and virtually no anti-matter. Our T2K and neutrino group will focus on contributing further analysis to confirm the new results but also, using our membership of the LBNO and LBNE collaborations, progress key new detector technology towards a next generation long baseline neutrino experiment to see CP violation. For this our focus will be with liquid argon technology, our pioneering work on electroluminescence light readout for that, and our simulation work on backgrounds from muons. The latter is key also to our on-going work towards an experiment to see if the proton decays, an issue at the core of understanding Grand Unified Theories of physics. Closely related and vital for our neutrino programme is continued participation in SNO+, aimed at understanding solar neutrinos, and the MICE experiment with its related R&D on high power particle beam targets for future neutrino beams.
Technological developments recently led to significant improvement in sensitivity of detectors to WIMP dark matter with key contributions from the Sheffield group towards EDELWEISS and DRIFT. Exploiting our leadership in background mitigation strategy, calibration and data analysis, our future work will concentrate on EDELWEISS operation and data analysis, as well as on developments towards ton-scale cryogenic experiment EURECA. The group is also uniquely well positioned to contribute through new work aiming to see, or exclude, a definitive galactic signature for the claimed low mass WIMP events. Our pioneering work on directional WIMP detectors will see a new experiment installed at the UK's Boulby underground site, DRIFTIIe, while our continued analysis of data from DM-ICE17 at the Antarctic South Pole, for which we supplied the NaI detectors, will seek an annual modulation galactic signature and inform design of a new experiment there planned for 2013.

Planned Impact

This bid is in response to the call from STFC to request Supplementary Consumables for use in connection with the Sheffield Particle Physics Programme Consolidated Grant awarded in late 2012, the funds are relevant across that programme and so the impacts are in line with those of that grant application. For full details we refer he reader to the documents and Jes-form associated with that bid and award. Briefly notable impacts are:
-A major new funded programme on application of particle physics muon detector technology to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
-Production of sensitive fast neutron detection for homeland security and crime prevention.
-New work for the medical industry has started with funded programmes spun out from T2K work with LabLogistic Ltd. and Southern Scientific Ltd. to develop new liquid scintillator and photo-sensor technology.
-Our long-standing cooperation with Cleveland Potash Ltd. (CPL) has aided development of the deep underground Palmer laboratory into a new interdisciplinary low background E-futures laboratory.
-Major new success is a funded industrial programme to spin out our expertise from ATLAS engineering into the aerospace industry with VCB Group Ltd.


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Description contribute to PPPA programme including Higgs discovery
Exploitation Route noe funding bids
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment