Particle Physics Rolling Grant 2009

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

Particle physics attempts to understand the Universe and its evolution in terms of the interplay of a small number of fundamental forces and particles. The last thirty years has seen the development of a robust and extremely successful theoretical framework, known as the Standard Model, in which all available data can be explained. However, this model is demonstrably incomplete and has many parameters that must be inserted by hand. Our proposed progamme will significantly advance our understanding of whatever theory must be constructed to replace the Standard Model. Our collaboration in the SNO experiment has been a major contributor to our understanding of the phenomenon of neutrino mass, originally outside the Standard Model. As SNO draws to an end, we will continue our neutrino investigations with a leading role in the MINOS experiment and the next generation experiment based in Japan, T2K. We plan to measure other fundamental properties of the neutrino, such as whether or not it is its own antiparticle - a Majorana or a Dirac neutrino - by utilising our unique experience with the SNO experiment and its underground laboratory. The CDF experiment is coming to the end of its life as LHC takes over the energy frontier, but we intend to continue our important contributions to the remaining running and in the exploitation of the full data sample to produce papers. The ZEUS experiment has now completed data taking; we are determined to play a major part in bringing these classic results on the structure of the proton, and the strong interaction, to publication. These results are likely to remain in the text-books for many years. After the disappointment of the failure of the LHC in 2008, repairs are well under way and the LHC experiments will come on line during the period of this Rolling Grant. We will ensure that Oxford plays a major role in the extraction of physics results from ATLAS and LHCb, which have the potential to completely revolutionise our understanding of particle physics. We are committed to providing the computing resources and analysis tools necessary for the extraction of these results, and our work in ensuring that Grid concepts and technology are available to the wider academic and business community will continue. The CRESST-II and cryo-EDM experiments will use technologies in which Oxford has a world lead to explore some of the most important questions in particle physics and cosmology; in particular the nature off the material that appears to make up most of the Universe. The spokesman of a major new initiative in this area, EURECA, is from Oxford, so that we will continue our leading role in the search for Dark Matter. The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science has major programmes in the accelerators of the future, including Linear Colliders and the Neutrino Factory. The JAI has established itself as a world-class institute in accelerator physics under the leadership of Professor Peach; we are starting the search for a world-class accelerator scientist to be his successor. We are also providing leaders in international bodies charged with the development of new accelerators. We will continue to develop and enhance our capabilities in mechanical and electronics design so that Oxford will retain the ability to construct the most sophisticated apparatus of whatever size is required for the physics objectives. We are determined to play a leading role in world particle physics in the future, as we have in the past.

Publications


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Aad G (2011) Studies of the performance of the ATLAS detector using cosmic-ray muons in The European Physical Journal C

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ST/H001026/1 01/10/2009 31/03/2011 £2,837,803
ST/H001026/2 Transfer ST/H001026/1 01/10/2010 30/09/2012 £5,301,088
 
Description Media interviews and articles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of staff supported on this grant give interviews regularly to radio, newspapers and magazine. There are too many examples to list separately, but include BBC Radios 3 and 4, Irish Radio, Radio New Zealand, Research Fortnight, Nature, New Scientist, etc.

General impact of public and opinion formers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Particle Physics Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Teachers bring groups of pupils to a concentrated 1-day event in which they hear the latest news from particle physics, get involved with hands-on activities and interact with academic staff.

Interacts with students and teachers - the classes are always full, we run 2 separate days and each year we reach more than 100 pupils and teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Visits by researchers to schools to give talks about LHC, neutrinos and other areas of particle physics

Around 100 schools visited by various members of staff since 2006.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Teachers Open Day in Accelerators and Particle Physics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Teachers spent the day in Oxford having a refresher course on the latest research results in accelerator science and particle physics.

Interaction with many physics teachers in schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010