Experimental Particle Physics Research Group

Welcome

Welcome to the Home Page of the Experimental Particle Physics Group at the University of Sussex. Our research aims to answer some of the fundamental questions posed by modern physics. We are part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy within the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex.

 

We have funded PhD studentship places available from September 2019 across all areas of our research.

Searching for New Physics

Supersymmetry, or SUSY, is an elegant extension to the Standard Model that, as well as addressing some very interesting theoretical questions, could also provide a viable candidate for a dark matter constituent.

Precision Measurements of the Higgs, Top, and More

The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in 2012 was one of the most important advances in high energy physics, bringing an end to decades of searching. Since then focus has shifted to understanding more about this new particle in order to give us a glimpse of potential physics beyond the Standard model. Members of the Sussex EPP group are studying least understood aspect of the properties of the Higgs boson: the way that it interacts with the top quark.

Supernova Detection

Neutrinos are produced in vast quantities during a supernova explosion, and because they only interact very weakly with other particles, they escape the supernova much more quickly than the photons of visible light. It is therefore possible to use neutrino detectors to identify supernova explosions within in our galaxy, allowing astronomers to point their telescopes in the right direction so as to observe these unique cosmological phenomena.

Machine Learning

Machine learning techniques are fast becoming an ubiquitous tool for data analysis in all aspects of everyday life, from business to society, and high energy physics is no exception. The EPP group are employing advanced state-of-the art techniques to tackle some of the most challenging problems in the field.

Neutrino Oscillations

While thousands of scientists work around the clock to exploit the potential of the Large Hadron Collider to uncover evidence of new physics, a quiet revolution has taken place in the field of neutrino physics. In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to the SNO+ and T2K experiments for showing that neutrinos oscillate (change flavour) and must therefore have mass; this is the first evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model.

Matter / Anti-matter Asymmetry

 Our best theories of the Universe strongly indicate that matter and antimatter were created in equal and opposite amounts in the Big Bang, and in a massive mutual annihilation they wiped each other out – almost but not quite completely; there was a tiny (part per billion) bit of matter left over at the end, which now constitutes all of the matter in the Universe. The question of why there was anything left over at all – which is fundamental to our existence - has been an outstanding mystery of cosmology for decades.

Building New Particle Detectors & Designing Future Colliders

Particle detectors are everywhere; from healthcare to large-scale radiation monitoring, from national security to industrial production processes, our everyday life would be a lot harder without these wonderful devices, able to give us an insight on the infinitely small. Most of the work we do at Sussex aims at building new tools to extend the limits of our knowledge.

Triggering and Data Acquisition

One thing all particle physics experiments have in common is the need to have a fast system for collecting data when the detectors record a signature that looks interesting. Sounds simple, until you consider that for example the ATLAS experiment has to choose between 40 million potential events per second!

High Performance Computing

We have a dedicated HPC that used for physics analysis, which is a mixture of standard CPUs and GPUs, with ~500 Tb of disk space, and that we also host a Grid Tier-2 site, that is mainly used for the production of ATLAS Monte Carlo data.

The ATLAS Open Data Project

The ATLAS data project is the world’s first open release of data gathered from the Large Hadron Collider in 2012. ATLAS Open Data guides you through how to visualise the data, how to download and use the data, and even provides open-source software for you to make your own discoveries.

Running the Experiments

All members of our group are involved in the running of either the ATLAS, NovA, or SNO+ experiments. This can mean taking shifts in the experimental control rooms, performing software and hardware tasks that are crucial to the efficent running of the experiments; without this crucial work we would not have the high-quality data needed for our physics analyses.

Impacting Society

Experimental Particle Physics is a `blue skies' research, meaning that the goal of our research activities is to answer questions, rather than to produce outcomes. Despite this, our research continues to have a huge impact on society, from the invention of the World Wide Web to novel cancer treatments.

 
 

What are physicists like?

What got you into physics?

What’s Your Dream Discovery?