Experimental Particle Physics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


The four-year timescale is particularly exciting with the exploitation of the LHC and upgrade developments reaching a peak. We will focus our efforts in the Higgs and top sectors for ATLAS, in the kaon sector for NA62, and in the charm and beauty sector for LHCb, including searches for BSM processes in each case. We are simultaneously entering a major construction phase which will require significant effort, building upon the synergies established between our ATLAS, LHCb and Linear Collider detector developments. We anticipate a significant transition in the neutrino sector. We finalised data taking in MICE, with a demonstration of ionization cooling imminent, and we have joined the T2K collaboration, contributing to its near detector upgrade through the WAGASCI/BabyMind detectors, as a major step towards future neutrino developments. With the international community, we will contribute to the leadership needed to establish a future Linear Collider at a key point in the European decision-making process. We have developed detector development and construction capacity to contribute to this programme and have built up our technician and engineering effort in a carefully planned approach. Improved analysis techniques, well-calibrated detectors, increased computing power and theoretical input will be essential and we are at the forefront of the required developments in these areas.
All academics are heavily involved in the CERN programme and our strategy is to generate leading-edge physics results from ATLAS, LHCb and NA62 based upon expertise developed in those experiments. Having secured high-quality completion in Run 1 and provided timely first Run-2 results in Higgs H->bb modes and top production for ATLAS, we will ensure that this experience will underpin future ATLAS publications. Based on our earlier work, we will be key players in answering questions concerning the origin of mass and the nature of CP violation. For LHCb, we will measure the CKM angle gamma from loop and tree dominated B decays, search for CP violation and measure mixing parameters in charm decays. We will explore the spectrum of doubly-charmed baryons and measure the properties of the discovered states. For NA62 we will maintain UK expertise and will lead the analysis of the K->pi,nu,nu channel.
We continue to invest in and promote a world-class Detector Development activity to enable longer-term initiatives and our Grid strength is aimed at maximising our impact in LHC physics as well as promoting new areas such as the linear collider. We additionally lever significant support through the College in these areas. We have set up physics analysis streams for each experiment, using the Grid, and will continue to fully exploit the LHC Run 2 data. We will also maintain our involvement in longer-term initiatives where we have leadership roles. We presently have leading roles in the ATLAS and LHCb upgrades, the linear collider and future neutrino initiatives. We anticipate greater involvement in these forward-looking programmes, based upon discoveries made at the LHC. Over the next four years we will develop these areas and progress those where early investment will become most productive, consistent with our highest priority of LHC physics exploitation.
To enhance the priority programme, we have invested in generic detector developments leading to significant impact in sensors technologies. This has ensured that we can retain expertise in order to meet our priorities in silicon detector development via support of the LHC upgrade and other programmes. We anticipate working with the IGR and JWNC groups where we gain from joint facilities. This strategy is well suited to the skills and capacity of our core group. The associated responsive effort will be essential at a critical point in the evolution of UK particle physics.

Planned Impact

The creation of impact from the developments we undertake for HEP has always been a priority for the Glasgow PPE group, long before it was made a University priority through its inclusion as a parameter in the REF exercise. For the first time REF2014 included not only assessment of academic output but also the impact the research has had on the economy, society, public policy, culture and the quality of life. 100% of the School's impact was judged to be at least "internationally excellent", with 42% rated as "world-leading", placing the School 9th in the UK for Physics impact. The PPE group was responsible for the generation of an impact case based on Medipix technology.
The Detector Development group's focus on the development of pixel detector systems has resulted in the prominent involvement of group members in upgrade detectors for both ATLAS and LHCb. In addition to these core activities, the Medipix family of ASICS continues to prove a fruitful source of applications both within and outwith HEP. Glasgow University has recently signed licence agreements with Quantum Detectors and Kromek Group PLC to use IP developed by GU on the applications of Medipix technology. The group has raised a large fraction of the funds required to join Medipix4 and anticipates joining the collaboration in the coming year.
As part of the ATLAS Upgrade R&D the Glasgow group has been working Micron Semiconductor to develop pixel sensors for ATLAS with the aim of Micron supplying sensors for a pixel endcap and possibly other parts of the ATLAS pixel upgrade. The ATLAS and LHCb groups are also collaborating with ZOT Ltd. The group has obtained STFC IAA funding to develop next generation semiconductor probe needles in collaboration with PTSL and Archer Technicoat Ltd, which builds on STFC IPS funding.
The group also has demonstrable impact in culture where group members are Scientific Advisors on the Antonine Wall Distance Slabs Research project. We are applying our knowledge of X-ray detectors for X-ray fluorescence measurements of Roman Period Stones from the Antonine Wall for identification of original paint colours.
The GridPP project, led from the University of Glasgow, provides another successful pathway. Despite a focus on Particle Physics, GridPP also supports many other disciplines, both as a production system and as an incubator for groups who will ultimately develop their own infrastructure. Beyond STFC science, GridPP continues to support a number of organisations such as the BioMed community (with whom GridPP has just agreed an SLA to be acknowledged in their publications) and the CERN@school organisation that brings the power of the Worldwide LHC computing Grid into classrooms across the UK. The associated Virtual Organisation (VO) - cernatschool.org - has proven useful as a "technology demonstrator" VO for GridPP's User Engagement toolkit. At a local level, GridPP continues to work with other groups such as the AHRC funded SAMUELS project that is examining the use and meaning of words in the Hansard parliamentary records (1803 to 2005).
Finally, all investigators will play an active role in the generation of impact and knowledge exchange and will ensure that appropriate training is provided to all researchers associated with the group activities in the key aspects of communication, public engagement and our extensive teacher CPD programme, media engagement, intellectual property protection and commercial exploitation.


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