Bristol consolidated grant capital request 2015

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


The Bristol particle physics group will search for evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model, and work to understand the properties of new phenomena. We will carry out this study using a range of approaches and experiments.

At the CERN CMS experiment at the LHC, we will search for signatures of the production of dark matter and supersymmetric particles, using events with 'missing energy'. In the absence of a discovery, we will combine statistical information from our observations with results from cosmology and direct dark matter searches, to rule out potential theories of new physics. We will also use the very large datasets produced at the LHC to study the production and properties of the top quark, a standard model particle with unique properties.

We will use a complementary approach to search for new physics at the CERN LHCb experiment, looking for subtle signatures of new physics that manifest themselves in the decays of mesons containing heavy quarks. We will use similar approaches to test current ideas about the nature of fundamental quantum symmetries.

A number of new experiments are being prepared, and will be ready for use within or shortly after the grant period. The NA62 experiment at the CERN SPS will study the decays of kaons to look for signs of new physics. The SOLID experiment at the BR2 reactor will study neutrino oscillations on an ultra-short baseline of 5-10m. The SHiP experiment at the CERN SPS will use a very high intensity beam to search for 'dark particles' that are signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model. Finally, we have begun to make preparations for the detailed design and optimisation of detectors for a future linear collider.

We will continue our programme of particle detector R&D, contributing to the upgrade of CMS and LHCb, to the design and construction of new experiments, and to the development of new sensors and technologies. An important part of this programme will be collaboration with industry and other academic disciplines, in order to generate impact from our work.

Planned Impact

- There will be a societal impact amongst the general public as we publicise the results of our research through outreach.

- We will engage with school age students and teachers to convey the excitement of fundamental research, motivating more students to study STEM subjects at post-16 and HE levels.

- Engagement with UK industry through contracts and joint projects, and through the provision of well-trained physicists as employees, will result in economic impact

- Other academic disciplines will benefit from our skills, knowledge and capabilities, addressing a number of important problems across a range of fields

Full details are given in our Case for Support and Pathways to Impact document


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