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 partnership 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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ATLAS Collaboration (2015) Search for [Formula: see text] decays in [Formula: see text] collisions at [Formula: see text] = 8 TeV with the ATLAS detector. in The European physical journal. C, Particles and fields

 
Description We continue to perform studies that help to educate our understanding of the make-up and interactions of the Universe's most elementary particles, examples include: leading analyses at ATLAS on high precision measurements of SM Higgs boson couplings and mass, searches for beyond the standard model physics such as SUSY and vector boson scattering. We perform measurements of neutrino interactions, cross-sections and oscillations at labs in the US and Japan and have leadership roles in WATCHMAN, an applied antineutrino physics project that aims to harness particle physics techniques for studies of nuclear non-proliferation. We have expertise in the simulations of cosmic ray muons used by many experiments and are expert in activation studies, neutron production and muon-induced backgrounds. We perform searches for dark matter in large underground labs and participate in experiments that have observed gravitational waves. We play a leading role in a project coordinating the HEP involvement with the UKRI exascale software programme (ExCALIBUR).
Exploitation Route Our work at the energy frontier, in neutrino physics and in the search for dark matter is at the forefront of the field, and discoveries in these areas will benefit all members of the HEP community, both experimenters and theorists; neutrino astrophysics and searches for dark matter also benefit the astrophysics and cosmology communities. This work will be disseminated through appropriate peer reviewed journals under an open access policy, with associated public data releases. In addition, group members present the work at national and international conferences and at seminars, in accordance with the policy of the relevant collaboration.
Work on muon tomography has potential relevance to geology and geophysics. We have made contact with academic partners in relevant departments and will strive to publish results in widely read journals to ensure maximum reach. Public data releases are foreseen.
Our work on applied particle physics is carried out in close collaboration with appropriate public or private sector bodies, such as the Met Office and LabLogic Ltd. This work will benefit diverse sectors of the community by improving public safety, developing new technology to benefit UK industry, and contributing to the health of the environment.
Public data releases by experiments are typically provided on websites curated by the experiments, in formats readable by open-access software such as ROOT. Documentation explaining the format of the data and any necessary usage notes is also provided.
Sectors Education,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/physics/research/pppa
 
Description Muon tomography work has been spun out to a company, Geoptic, and is being applied to imaging of civil infrastructure, e.g., location of hidden voids in rail tunnels, see, e.g. https://journals.aps.org/prresearch/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.023017. Applications to other sectors are underway.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Construction,Transport
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Nucleon decay search and cosmic rays in the DUNE experiment
Amount £119,924 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R006709/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Title Method of modelling muon transport through complex geological structures 
Description We have developed a new method of producing computer model of a geological structure that can be interfaced with the particle transport code used in particle physics, Geant4. The method allowed us to simulate muon transport down to and through a geological structure. The method was validated for a specific type of a geological repository. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Simulation of muon transport through a geological repository - potential site of carbon dioxide storage. Development of the muon tomography technique. 
 
Title Monte Carlo modelling of muon events (from 2008) 
Description This is the method of simulating and analysing muon events that produce background for rare event search experiments. This method was developed and improved over a number of years as part of various projects and affected the outcomes of these projects. R&D towards new facility at the Boulby Underground Laboratory to host large rare event search experiments DUNE and other neutrino related experiments (Monte Carlo generator for cosmic-ray muons) LZ experiment Muon tomography work 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2008 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Many scientific collaborations are using this method. 
 
Title Muon tomography of volcanoes 
Description The method/tool includes interfacing several computer models to allow simulations of cosmic-ray muons applied to muon tomography of volcanoes. The first step is the geophysical model of a volcano, including faults in rock structure and possible route for magma in case of eruption. The 2nd step is the simulation of cosmic-ray showers in the atmosphere above the volcano and recording of muons. The third step is the transport of muons through the volcano. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The method allows us to study the sensitivity of muon tomography technique to investigate volcanic structure and predict possible paths for magma during eruptions. Given a large number of volcanoes in South America, some of them causing potential threat to population and infrastructure, monitoring volcanoes using this muon tomography technique may be vital for preventing large-scale disasters. Our Colombian and Mexican partners are very interested in developing this technique and the first muon telescope is currently under construction at the Industrial University of Santander (Bucaramanga, Colombia), our partner organisation. 
URL http://www.hep.shef.ac.uk/research/muontomographyvolcanoes
 
Description ATLAS Collaboration 
Organisation ATLAS Experiment
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Sheffield team is a founder of the ATLAS experiment at CERN and contributes to its construction, development and exploitation
Collaborator Contribution Construction of the Semiconductor tracker, development of the software and computing of the experiment. Physics analysis, Higgs, Standard Model, Supersymmetry, top
Impact Discovery of the Higgs boson and many others
 
Description Collaboration with SuperKamiokande (SuperK) Collaboration 
Organisation Super-Kamiokande
Country Japan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Selected members of the UK HyperKamiokande team, including Lee Thompson and Andrew Cole from Sheffield joined SuperK in January 2016. We are working with members of the SuperK EGADS team on measuring the activity of Gadolinium samples at the so-called Boulby Underground Germanium Suite (BUGS) at STFC's Boulby Underground Lab. There are also plans to use SuperK as a testbench ofr some of the HyperK calibration work that we are involved in.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in calibration. Production of Gd samples. Expertise in handing and measurement of Gd samples.
Impact Work is ongoing, no direct impact yet.
Start Year 2016
 
Description DUNE Collaboration 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The DUNE project is a collaboration of more than 10 universities and national laboratories in the UK and more than 200 institutions across the world from more than 50 countries. The Collaboration continues to grow so number of members, institutes and countries is not fixed and changes every year. The DUNE project also includes the ProtoDUNE experiment and is linked to Short-Baseline Near Detector activities at Fermilab.
Collaborator Contribution The whole DUNE Collaboration contributes to DUNE Construction and future exploitation, including ProtoDUNE activities.
Impact The output is the operating ProtoDUNE experiment and associated publications. Another output is the publications by the DUNE Collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Title Modified SOURCES4 code (from 2014) 
Description The original code SOURCES4 developed at LANL (USA) has been modified to allow more accurate calculation of neutron yield in (alpha, n) reactions on a large number of isotopes relevant to material construction for rare event experiments. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The code is now widely used by physicists working with underground experiments for rare event searches. 
 
Title Muon simulation code (from 2013) 
Description A Monte Carlo code for modelling cosmic-ray muons at different underground sites, including SURF at South Dakota, USA (site for DUNE, LZ and LUX experiments), Modane, France (site for the EDELWEISS experiment) and Boulby in the UK (potential site for the next generation rare search experiment). 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The code allows calculation of the muon fluxes and energy spectra underground. Initial simulations have been done for underground laboratories in Italy, France and others. In 2015 the model and method have first been applied to the SURF underground laboratory in the USA. Recent improvements to the model have been made for the DUNE experiment at SURF and recently for the Boulby site. Also used for muon simulations in geological repositories. 
 
Company Name GEOPTIC LIMITED 
Description Geoptic provides cosmic ray imaging services to the civil engineering sector. Our novel technique is able see through many tens of metres of soil and rock, or equivalent materials, in order to identify regions of anomalous density. 
Year Established 2019 
Impact Work with Network Rail to image railway tunnels to locate and characterise hidden shafts.
Website https://www.geoptic.co.uk/
 
Description "STEM for girls - Promoting science in person" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Stall with activities to represent HEP grorup (Virtual visit to ATLAS, Lego model) at a local/regional science fair for girls
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
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 International Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 40 pupils attended the research institute, learned about particle physics and participated in hands-on exerices on particle physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://indico.shef.ac.uk/event/31/
 
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 Seminar at IPPP Durham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific seminar at IPPP Durham
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
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 Talking to New Scientist (NL) for article 
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 Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Response to dutch journalist in response to a new measurements (and press release by CERN/ the ATLAS experiment)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.newscientist.nl/nieuws/lhc-ziet-deeltjes-met-massa-ontstaan-uit-botsing-massaloze-lichtd...
 
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
 
Description Uh it's cold, Science of liquid nitrogen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sparking interesting in science for younger audiences by playing with liquid nitrogen
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Virtual international masterclass 
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 discussed with school students on particle physics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://indico.shef.ac.uk/event/34/