Lancaster receives £2.9m for particle physics research

Lancaster University has received £2.9 million from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as part of its ongoing support for the particle physics research community in the UK.

This funding helps keep the UK at the forefront of answering some of the most important and complex scientific questions and supports the next generation of UK particle physicists.

The funding will allow the Experimental Particle Physics Group at Lancaster to continue its world-class research to study phenomena in particle physics with a focus on determining the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe, precise measurements of the best current theoretical description of particle physics. (the “standard model”) as well as theories that go beyond this theory.

The program uses facilities around the world including CERN (Switzerland/France), Fermilab (USA), JPARC (Japan) and SNOLab (Canada) and the group participates in and leads many activities at CERN (ATLAS and NA62 ) and neutrino ( DUNE, T2K, HK, MicroBooNE, SBND).

Professor Roger Jones of Lancaster University said: “At a time of very tight budgets, we are pleased to have increased our grant support and will be able to continue a broad and exciting program addressing the fundamental questions of particle physics.

Particle physics studies the world at the smallest possible distance scales and at the highest attainable energies, seeking answers to fundamental questions about the structure of matter and the composition of the Universe.

Ten years after British researchers contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning detection of the Higgs boson, some of the questions the community is struggling to answer include:

  • What is the Universe made of and why?
  • What is the underlying nature of neutrinos?
  • Why is there an imbalance between matter and antimatter in the Universe?
  • How to detect dark matter?
  • Are there any new particles or particle interactions we can find?

Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programs at STFC, said:

“The STFC continues to support the experimental particle physics community in the UK by answering fundamental questions about our Universe.

“Grants are essential to support technicians, engineers and academics in their skills and expertise in the field, while encouraging career development in basic research with universities and international collaborators.

“This investment supports the UK physics community and enables the UK to continue to lead the field of experimental particle physics.”

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