Consolidated Grant 2019

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Department Name: Physics


The QMUL Particle Physics Research Centre (PPRC) is working on an exciting set of particle physics experiments at the forefront of the field spanning the entire mass-scale from the lowest to the highest mass particles.
At the high-mass scale, members of the centre have played an important role in the design, construction of the ATLAS detector at the CERN LHC. The group is actively working on analyses of the vast, rich set of data produced by the detector. The group contributed to the Higgs boson discovery and is engaged in research dedicated to deepening the understanding of the Higgs and searching for discrepancies in the Standard Model through a variety of intricate tests. The group is also exploring dark matter and exotic particle searches in ATLAS.
The vast quantity of data produced by the LHC experiments required a distributed, shared computing fabric that is easily accessible to researchers worldwide. The group is heavily involved in GridPP that is targetted to meet this requirement and operates one of the largest Grid sites in the UK.
The QMUL Group is also involved in upgrades to the ATLAS detector to meet the challenges of an increase in the luminosity of the beam. The group is focussed on the complex ATLAS Tracker Upgrade and Level One Calorimeter Trigger upgrade programmes. The generic R&D coming from the tracker upgrade is part of our groundwork for our impact activities.
At the other end of the mass scale, the neutrino group is involved in ground-breaking studies of the neutrino with significant involvement in three experiments: T2K, Hyper-K, SNO+ and IceCube/IceCube-Gen2. The group played an important role in the design, construction of the T2K long baseline neutrino experiment in Japan. The group has actively contributed to the groundbreaking observations of neutrino oscillations (hinting at non-zero CP violation) and is working on the important goal of detecting an indication of CP violation in T2K. This will provide an important element in unravelling the more matter than antimatter in the Universe mystery. The group plays an important role in the upgrade of T2K: Hyper-Kamiokande which will be a precision experiment with a wide physics program from measuring CP violation to searching got proton decays. The Group plays an important role in the design, construction and operation of the SNO+ experiment that offers a rich programme of neutrino physics with the SNO+ detector located in Canada. This exciting experiment has just started to take data and the group has a key role in the analysis and imminent publication of first results. The Group also plays an important role in an experiment dedicated to studying very high energy atmospheric neutrinos with IceCube/IceCube-Gen2 located in Antarctica.
Finally, the Group is maintaining a watching brief across the future collider options sector.

Planned Impact

The QMUL Particle Physics group focuses its research primarily on experimental particle physics aimed at understanding the fundamental constituents of the universe and the forces through which they interact. This research centres on: the ATLAS experiment and its upgrade at the CERN Large Hadron Collider - searching for new high energy phenomena and an understanding of the Higgs boson; the T2K experiment in Japan and its upgrade Hyper-Kamiokande which studies neutrino interactions with the aim of understanding the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe and SNO+ that studies the neutrino nature. The direct outcomes of this research advance our knowledge of the nature of the universe.
We have developed a set of impact cases on which we will work on during the length of the grant. They are: organic radiation detectors, compact neutron generator, non-planar silicon detectors, PMT development, general data acquisition, proteomics, machine learning implementations.
Finally, the Group is also very much involved in outreach activities.


10 25 50

Description PhD applications of organic sensors for radiation detection
Amount £48,267 (GBP)
Funding ID P/O No 30469473 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 03/2023
Description ANITA/PUEO 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Lead simulation team effort on this experiment, and contribute to data analysis
Collaborator Contribution Helped create a world leading balloon experiment that provides unique and valuable data for analysis
Impact see publications
Start Year 2020
Description ATLAS Collaboration 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The ATLAS Collaboration at CERN, including R&D toward upgrades of the CERN LHC Facility
Collaborator Contribution International laboratory hosting an experiment
Impact These include the discovery of the Higgs boson, many publications and preliminary results, machine learning technology integrated into teaching resources for undergraduate and graduate students.
Description AWE Ltd 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Department National Nuclear Security Programme
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Working on the development of a novel neutron detector.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have funded the development of device readout and simulation. This underpins technology refinements that have accelerated technology development.
Impact Outputs are being finalised in terms of publications and IP protection.
Start Year 2015
Description DUNE Collaboration 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Department DUNE
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have recently joined this experimental collaboration and are making contributions to the design of the near detector gas TPC data acquisition system.
Collaborator Contribution We are collaborating closely with Imperial College and Royal Holloway as part of the UK consortium for this experiment. Our work fits into the broader international picutre where our international partners have contributed to the design of a world leading mega science project, with a neutrino production source via the Fermi Lab National Accelerator Laboratory accelerator system, and a two-stage detector system; a near detector at that laboratory's site and a far detector at the SURF facility in South Dakota, USA.
Impact It is too early to have generated outcomes from this work so far.
Start Year 2019
Description Dounreay 
Organisation Dounreay Site Restoration Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Characterisation team at Dounreay
Collaborator Contribution identified and facilitating access to a nuclear power station for decommissioning purposes
Impact NDA Studentship has just been awarded, which will be a 143k contribution to the organisation
Start Year 2022
Description Micron Semiconductor Ltd (CVD Diamond) 
Organisation Micron Semiconductor
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our team has developed technology for our organic neutron detector work with the AWE Ltd. that has the potential for us to merge Micron's CVD diamond to make a new type of neutron detector. We have partnered with MSL to explore ways to realise this new type of neutron detector.
Collaborator Contribution Our collaboration partner has so far provided an in kind contribution through provision of commercial (market) and technical information on products and applications. This has led to us being able to seek funding, where MSL has pledged a 100k in-kind contribution, AWE a 45k in kind contribution to go toward a product development programme. The outcome of that application will be known in June 2020.
Impact It is too early to report outputs from this new collaboration. We will record outputs under our next consolidated grant.
Start Year 2019
Description NOvA 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data analysis and detector operations
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis, management of analysis working groups
Impact See publication list
Start Year 2020
Description National Nuclear Laboratory 
Organisation National Nuclear Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution My team and NNL have had 5 or 6 very productive in depth discussions about the usage of our technology for decommissioning activities. The company has learned about the capabilities our novel technology brings and is discussing those with some of its customer sites.
Collaborator Contribution We have developed a deeper understanding of the needs of industry and submitted applications for future CASE and NDA funded studentships. We have submitted a funding proposal with NLL as a partner, and for that submission we have a pledged in-kind contribution from the company.
Impact This collaboration covers physics and chemistry, and includes sub-fields of particle physics and condensed matter.
Start Year 2021
Description T2K 
Organisation Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contributions to the evidence for CP violation in the neutrino sector
Collaborator Contribution Supporting experimental operations and data analysis
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2006
Title Organic Semiconductor Neutron Detector 
Description Development of a pi-conjugated semiconductor polymer based radiation detector with additives that would work as a neutron detector including for thermal neutrons. 
IP Reference 1905234.9 UK patent 
Protection Patent / Patent application
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed No
Impact UK, EU, and US patents filled on technological developments surrounding organic semiconductor neutron detectors.