Particle Physics Consolidated Grant from the University of Sheffield - ATLAS, ATLAS upgrade, T2K, LBNE/F, Hyper-K, MICE, LZ, DMGS, DRIFT, R&D, KE

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

Abstract

It is an exceptional time for discoveries in particle physics and particle astrophysics and the research we wish to conduct in this STFC consolidated grant programme at Sheffield is at the heart of this action. Foremost recently has been the discovery by ATLAS of a Higgs boson particle. Members of the group led and helped to develop the key 4-lepton analysis upon which the discovery was based. We will now use our expertise to measure carefully the properties of the new particle to establish whether it is the Higgs boson predicted by theory, or something else. We will also search for squark and gluino particles predicted by supersymmetry theory, which will be the main target of the next, higher energy, run of the LHC. Preparing for the future, we will expand our role in the ATLAS upgrade programme to build key components of a new ATLAS tracker. Our involvement in the T2K experiment in Japan also greatly benefited from confirmation of a non-zero third neutrino mixing angle, a result fundamental to our understanding of the neutrino. The group's respected work in neutrino analyses for T2K, particularly of so-called charge current and neutral current events, will continue along with international responsibilities for data management and for the critical light injection calibration system. However, bolstered by the exciting new results we will now also accelerate participation in next generation long baseline neutrino experiment for CP violation aimed to unravel the mystery of antimatter in the Universe, notably using LBNE/F in the US and Hyper-K in Japan. For these our particular focus will be on detector construction. For the precursor LAr1-ND experiment at Fermilab we plan to construct the central Anode Plane Array for the detector, while working also on our pioneering liquid argon R&D. We will also establish novel detector prototypes at the new CERN-based neutrino platform and for LBNE/F itself. Closely related here will be work on the MICE experiment towards a potential future neutrino factory, plus related R&D on high power particle beam targets for future neutrino beams and experiments.
For particle astrophysics we plan to expand work on gravitation waves, through specialist noise analysis for Advanced Ligo, and develop new effort on dark matter, thought to comprise 90% of the Universe. There is strong motivation here because the US LUX experiment recently produced a step-change in sensitivity to dark matter particles. We will complete leading analysis for the EDELWEISS experiment and then lead key simulations for the upcoming LZ experiment in the US. Following our pioneering work on detectors with sensitivity to galactic signatures, the group will also lead analysis and construction tasks for the DRIFT direction sensitive experiment at Boulby and the new DM-ICE250 NaI experiment, which US collaborators recently agreed will be hosted at Boubly. DM-ICE will seek a new annual modulation signal for dark matter. These experiments are all searching WIMP particles, but we will also expand study of axions as a potential alternative.
Meanwhile, our generic detector R&D and knowledge exchange programme is vital to underpinning the group's expertise and skills-base. It benefits from our historic links to the Boulby deep underground science laboratory but critically now involves multiple industrial and non-STFC projects. Noteworthy aims now will be to complete our DECC-funded programme on muon tomography for climate change, develop new instrumentation for radon assay, spin-out work on novel motor control electronics via a new patent and continue development of novel welding technology. It is interesting that our long-standing efforts to develop liquid argon technology for neutrino physics are also relevant to medical imaging requirements. We plan to complete a new prototype instrument, building on a recent MRC award. This all reflects the group's commitment to contributing to societal and impact agendas.

Planned Impact

Impact from the Sheffield group continues to play a major role in our programme. This aspect of our research has high priority in the group, not only as a source of income and impact, but as a springboard for new ideas and approaches to our research work.
The work of French is particularly prominent, enabling multi-million-pound profits from U.K. company VBCie through the development of InterPulse welding techniques, enabling contracts for VBCie with Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, and securing selection of VBCie InterPulse welding methods for ATLAS and CMS upgrade engineering. This work has led to world sales of the developed products of £2.87M to date.
Daw has developed a pioneering controller for improving the efficiency and performance of permanent magnet and induction motors; the University is funding the patent application in this area - the first Physics-based patent application since 2011. The IP involved effects a global multi-billion-pound market, with the demonstrated advantages of the new technique resulting in potential cost savings in motor controllers and improved efficiency in the motors themselves, especially when operating at low speeds. Multiple projects using cosmic ray muons have been undertaken, notably muon tomography for carbon capture and storage, where public/private funding in the oil sector indicates the commercial potential of a new technique for monitoring underground carbon storage facilities. Also of note is application of our knowledge base in muon detection to deliver muon detectors for portal detector prototypes for the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
Again in portal detection, John McMillan is working on neutron activation analysis as a method for detection of explosives in cargo; this work has led to the acquisition and commissioning of a new pulsed thermal neutron source facility at the University of Sheffield; this facility is impacting UK industry, notably The Welding Institute, and in partnersip with TWI, Sheffield is a provider to the EU FP7 SafeHPower project, delivering neutron flux and radiography for assessment of pressure vessels for hydrogen fuel systems. McMillan has in addition developed a novel thermal neutron detector using boron nitride for neutron capture, eliminating the need for scarce Lithium-6 or Helium-3 based detectors. This technology impacts future neutron detectors for security applications. Spooner and Paganis are applying expertise in liquid Argon physics to medical instrumentation applications. With their Portuguese collaborators, they have developed a liquid argon test stand for prototype imaging GPMTs. Target applications include positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), where superior energy and position resolution promises higher image fidelity and reduced patient radiation doses.
Spooner has also worked in collaboration with Durridge, Inc., who have spun out a Sheffield-University-Based U.K. subsidiary to develop RadTrack, a new radon assay instrument. Steve Sadler, a recently graduated STFC Ph.D. student is working at this U.K. subsidiary. The RadTrack detector will utilize technology developed in collaboration with Sheffield for measuring radon and other background levels in the Boulby underground laboratory. French has developed a high pressure CO2 based cooling system as an alternative to CFC based existing technology. French is an international leader in this alternative approach to cooling. Combined with his expertise in InterPulse welding, the new CO2 cooling technology can potentially be applied in aerospace applications. Exploitation of French's contacts with the Shadow Robot Company, Ltd., and Dawson's expertise in radiation monitoring, the group is seeking an IPS award to support research into highly dexterous robot manipulators for high radiation environments. This work has potential applications in rator engineering and the nuclear industry.

Publications

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Aaboud M (2018) Direct top-quark decay width measurement in the lepton+jets channel at with the ATLAS experiment. in The European physical journal. C, Particles and fields

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Aaboud M (2017) Study of ordered hadron chains with the ATLAS detector in Physical Review D

 
Description AstroSoc talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk about HyperKamiokande to Chesterfield Astronomical Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cocktails & Physics public outreach event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An evening event called "Cocktails & Physics" in a bar in Sheffield involving 3 presentations about neutrinos, supernovae and SuperK/HyperK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Colloquium, DESY, Hamburg 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colloquium on HyperK at DESY Hamburg national lab in Germany
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://physikseminar.desy.de/hamburg/colloquia_in_2019/29_january_2019/
 
Description Colloquium, DESY, Zeuthen, Berlin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colloquium on HyperK at DESY Zeuthen national lab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://physikseminar.desy.de/hamburg/colloquia_in_2019/29_january_2019/
 
Description HyperK "STEMinar", Jan 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on HyperK to STEM postgraduates, academics and people from industry at university-wide LGBT+ event at the University of Sheffield.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview with the Register 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with the journalist from The Register on the LZ programme. An article published online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/01/upgraded_lux_experiment_hunt_for_dark_matter/
 
Description Mini-workshop at Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering 
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 Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk plus mini-exhibition on neutrinos and HyperKamiokande as part of the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Physics World online 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with a journalist from Physics World Online, an article in this online journal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2015/apr/09/dark-matter-and-muons-are-ruled-out-as-dama-sig...
 
Description Public Lecture from Nobel Laureate 
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 lecture at the University of Sheffield. Given by Nobel Laureate, Professor Kajita. Topic was neutrinos, HyperK and SuperK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/nobel-prize-winner-sheffield-1.705852
 
Description Royal Society EXhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a exhibition stand at the Royal Society's summer exhibition featuring a number of exhibits, including an SK VR system, a 20" SK PMT and a (not-working) beam target from RAL, other exhibits, leaflets, take away information on neutrinos.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2018/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/
 
Description Talk to U3A (University of the Third Age) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk about neutrinos and HyperK to the Science and Technology Group of the Sheffield branch of the U3A (University of the Third Age)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tapton School, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk on HyperKamiokande at Tapton School Sheffield.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017