South-Eastern Particle Theory Alliance Sussex - RHUL - UCL 2017-2020, RHUL Node

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Physics


The proposed research joins scientists of the particle theory groups at Sussex, Royal Holloway and University College London in the hunt for new physics under three broad headings:

Collider and low-energy phenomenology:

The Large Hadron Collider boosts elementary particles to velocities so close to that of light that their effective mass grows by a factor of a billion. By smashing these particles together there are new discoveries to be made, and new theories of physics to test. We will work on the complex task of relating the debris of these collisions to the new models put forward by theorists to explain some of the most puzzling questions of the universe - what is the origin of mass? and is there a quantum theory of gravity?

Particle astrophysics and cosmology:

One of the most active areas of research in the past decade has been at the interface between particle physics and
cosmology. In order to understand the history of the universe we must understand physical laws in the first moments of the Big Bang, when temperatures and particle energies were huge. Conversely, by detailed observations of the universe today we can trace back the conditions and make deductions about physical laws at high energies.
Our research will tackle big questions about the universe: why is there more matter than antimatter? what is the nature of neutrinos and dark matter? is there any evidence out there for strings or other cosmic defects? and can we understand the history of the universe from the epoch of inflation until the present day in one overarching theory?

Fixed points of quantum field theory:
The recent discovery that Standard Model-like theories can be fundamental and predictive up to highest energies without being asymptotically free has opened a door into uncharted territory. These novel theories offer alternative ways to UV complete the Standard Model and to address its open challenges from an entirely new angle. Our research will focus on the systematic evaluation of these new types of theories, including the construction of benchmark models beyond the Standard Model. We combine these studies with our continuing quest towards a quantum version of general relativity. Predictions of these scenarios will be contrasted with data from particle colliders and cosmology.


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