Experimental Particle Physics at Lancaster University

The Lancaster Experimental Particle Physics Group has two main areas of activity:

The first is physics at hadron colliders. This is principally through the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, which studies proton-proton collisions at between 2 and 14TeV, and will run for many years. We are also completing studies on the D-Zero experiment, which studied proton-antiproton collisions at about 1-2TeV. The group has many interests; in particular we are looking for new physics signatures using beauty hadrons and top quarks, and conducting Higgs searches. These motivate our practical studies of precise tracking detectors and distributed computing in the form of Grids and Clouds. As well as playing a part in the Higgs boson discovery, we were pleased to discover the first new particle seen at the LHC, the χb(3P).

The second area is the study of the transformation of one sort of neutrino into another using the T2K experiment in Japan. Lancaster built one of the key components of the so-called near detector, the ND280 downstream calorimeter, and retains responsibility for aspects of detector calibration that ensure good data. Our physics goals include quantifying the electron-neutrino component in the muon-neutrino beam and measuring neutrino interaction cross-sections, which previously have not been well-understood due to the extremely low probability of neutrino interactions. In 2011, T2K provided the world's first indication that electron neutrinos emerge from a muon neutrino beam, which was observed over the 295 km distance between the two T2K detectors.

Key Research

  • ATLAS
  • D0
  • T2K
  • Grid computing