particle physics – Polkinghorne http://polkinghorne.org/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 14:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://polkinghorne.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon-2022-01-25T202759.511-150x150.png particle physics – Polkinghorne http://polkinghorne.org/ 32 32 Brunel backed to play his part in the future of particle physics https://polkinghorne.org/brunel-backed-to-play-his-part-in-the-future-of-particle-physics/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 12:05:58 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/brunel-backed-to-play-his-part-in-the-future-of-particle-physics/ Brunel University London has been supported by funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to play its part in the future of particle physics research. The university is one of 18 UK institutions to receive a share of a new £60million fund, which the STFC hopes will keep the UK at the forefront […]]]>

Brunel University London has been supported by funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to play its part in the future of particle physics research.

The university is one of 18 UK institutions to receive a share of a new £60million fund, which the STFC hopes will keep the UK at the forefront of physics, answering some of the questions most fundamental scientists while supporting the next generation of particle physicists. .

The funding will allow Brunel to expand his work at the famous Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where researchers and university students have long worked on some of the biggest experiments in the world.

This work includes maintaining and operating the enormous Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Silicon Tracker, a detector that allows scientists to track the momentum of charged particles.

“The Silicon Tracker is at the heart of CERN’s CMS experiment and is one of the largest silicon devices ever built – it measures around 200 square meters. About the size of a tennis court,” said Professor Akram Khan, professor of experimental particle physics at Brunel.

“Its main function in life is to measure particle tracks. When you get a high-energy collision, you get secondary particles from those collisions – and we help determine the trajectory the particles are taking and where they’re coming from.

Using the Silicon Tracker, CERN scientists can track the position of a particle to about 10 microns, or about the width of a human hair.

The new STFC funding will also allow Brunel students and early career researchers to continue working with CERN, where they have already had the opportunity to work on some of the organization’s largest projects.

“Our students have the chance to work on really advanced technologies, such as the electronics of the trigger system. These are bespoke electronic devices that don’t exist anywhere else,” Prof Khan said.

“They may also be involved in testing algorithms, and sometimes developing and tweaking algorithms. But I think the important thing is to get the algorithms and hardware working in real time – they can really get your hands dirty!”

The STFC is one of the main research funding bodies in the UK, supporting particle physicists working in a variety of fields including dark matter, neutrinos and proton decay.

Announcing the funding, Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programs at STFC, said: “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 remain a leader in the field of experimental particle physics.

Reported by:

Press office, media relations

+44 (0)1895 268965
press-office@brunel.ac.uk

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Lancaster receives £2.9m for particle physics research https://polkinghorne.org/lancaster-receives-2-9m-for-particle-physics-research/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 13:14:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/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 […]]]>

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.”

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

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University of Sheffield researchers awarded over £2.6m to support particle physics research | News https://polkinghorne.org/university-of-sheffield-researchers-awarded-over-2-6m-to-support-particle-physics-research-news/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 13:13:51 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/university-of-sheffield-researchers-awarded-over-2-6m-to-support-particle-physics-research-news/ Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe. Physicists from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded £2.68 million for pioneering research aimed at answering some of the biggest and most complex questions in science […]]]>

Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe.

  • Physicists from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded £2.68 million for pioneering research aimed at answering some of the biggest and most complex questions in science
  • The funding is part of a wider £60m investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to keep the UK at the forefront of global particle physics research and to support the next generation of British particle physicists.
  • The grant will support high-level work in the particle physics group that combines experimental accelerator particle physics, neutrino physics, and particle astrophysics with a strong focus on impact

Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe.

The £2.68million grant, from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is part of a wider £60million investment to keep the UK at the forefront of global research by particle physics and to support the next generation of particle physicists.

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

Professor Lee Thompson, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, will lead the institute’s particle physics programme, which aims to answer fundamental questions such as:

  • “What is the Universe made of and why?”
  • “Why is the Universe made of matter and not anti-matter? »

Among the activities of the particle physics group is the search for dark matter – a hypothetical form of matter thought to make up about 85% (five-sixths) of the matter in the universe. Although it was first discovered in 1933, it has still never been observed directly.

Elsewhere, the Sheffield team is taking part in the large multi-purpose ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider to search for new particles. Other team members are collaborating on next-generation neutrino experiments in Japan and the United States to observe subtle differences between particles and antiparticles.

Professor Lee Thompson, Principal Investigator for Sheffield from the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “This funding will have a significant impact on our efforts to answer some of the most important and fundamental questions about the Universe.”

“We are working in collaboration with colleagues around the world on a wide range of pioneering experiments to help us better understand the nature of matter and discover hitherto elusive dark matter. STFC funding will allow us to continue our groundbreaking work here in Sheffield and get one step closer to answering some of the most important and complex questions in science.

The STFC investment will fund teams from a total of 18 UK universities to conduct cutting-edge research in particle physics over the next three years.

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

The STFC funds UK particle physicists working on a wide range of experiments around the world. Research teams are working to solve groundbreaking challenges in particle physics, including the race to detect dark matter, the study of neutrino oscillations, and the search for proton decay – all key questions in fundamental physics to which we still have no answers.


Contact

For more information, please contact:

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Liverpool at the forefront of global particle physics research with £6.59m investment – ​​News https://polkinghorne.org/liverpool-at-the-forefront-of-global-particle-physics-research-with-6-59m-investment-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bnews/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 08:13:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/liverpool-at-the-forefront-of-global-particle-physics-research-with-6-59m-investment-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bnews/ Physicists at the University of Liverpool are receiving £6.59m from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as part of a £60m investment to continue supporting the physics research community particles in the UK. The funding helps keep Liverpool and the UK at the forefront of answering some of the most important and complex scientific […]]]>

Physicists at the University of Liverpool are receiving £6.59m from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as part of a £60m investment to continue supporting the physics research community particles in the UK.

The funding helps keep Liverpool and 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.

Alongside Oxford and Imperial College, the University of Liverpool is one of the largest of 18 STFC-funded university projects to conduct cutting-edge research in particle physics over the next three years.

Liverpool physicists will focus on finding answers to some of the most pressing questions in particle physics, such as understanding the nature of dark matter or why we live in a universe that seems almost entirely devoid of dark particles. ‘antimatter.

To do this, they will continue work on several experiments in progress and under development. These include experiments at the Large Hardon Collider at CERN and neutrino experiments, precision muon experiments and dark matter research at laboratories in the United States, Europe and Japan. .

Recent hints from different experiments have offered tantalizing clues that new breakthroughs in particle physics could come from experiments that are underway or from experiments already in the works.

The University of Liverpool Principal Investigator for this award is Professor Joost Vossebeld who said: “This funding is fantastic news for physicists at Liverpool and a testament to both the cutting-edge research we are undertaking and the leading role Liverpool is playing in developing the next generation of experiments in particle physics. Success belongs to everyone in the Liverpool group, be they academics, students, engineers, technicians or computer scientists. We are all very excited to see what the next three years have in store for us.

Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programs at the 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.”

The STFC funds UK particle physicists working on a wide range of experiments around the world. UK-funded research teams are working to solve groundbreaking challenges in particle physics, including the race to detect dark matter, the study of neutrino oscillations and the search for proton decay – all key questions in fundamental physics that we still have not answered.

More information on STFC’s $60 million investment in global physics research can be found here.

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World’s largest particle physics lab suspends political ties with Russia | Science https://polkinghorne.org/worlds-largest-particle-physics-lab-suspends-political-ties-with-russia-science/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/worlds-largest-particle-physics-lab-suspends-political-ties-with-russia-science/ In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the politicians who control Europe’s particle physics laboratory, CERN, are trying to strike a delicate balance. In a special session, the CERN Council, made up of representatives of the laboratory’s 23 member countries, voted to suspend the “observer” privileges of the Russian Federation, CERN announced today. The council’s […]]]>

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the politicians who control Europe’s particle physics laboratory, CERN, are trying to strike a delicate balance. In a special session, the CERN Council, made up of representatives of the laboratory’s 23 member countries, voted to suspend the “observer” privileges of the Russian Federation, CERN announced today. The council’s 2-page resolution temporarily bars Russian political representatives from auditing the council’s public deliberations or participating in certain closed-door negotiations, and prohibits the establishment of new collaborations with Russia.

However, the council did not expel Russian universities and institutes involved in ongoing experiments at CERN, home to the world’s largest atom breaker, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Russians represent more than 1,000 of the 12,000 scientists from 95 countries who collaborate in one way or another at CERN. The council appears to have tried to punish the Russian government while continuing to support Russian physicists, some of whom have worked at CERN for decades.

Some CERN scientists wanted to go further. More than 275 Polish physicists at CERN signed a petition calling for an end to “any institutional collaboration” between CERN and Russian or Belarusian institutions”.

But others think the board got it right. “I am very happy because [the resolution] is what CERN stands for,” says Christoph Rembser, experimental physicist at CERN. “We will continue to uphold its core values ​​of cross-border scientific collaboration and as an engine of peace.” Since its creation in 1954, CERN has served as a bridge between Russia and the West, even in the darkest days of the Cold War. Its motto is “science in the service of peace”.

John Ellis, a King’s College London theorist who works at CERN and has been on its staff for more than 40 years, is also pleased that scientific collaborations can continue. “For me, this is extremely important because some member states have adopted policies, which certainly seemed to want to stop any collaboration with Russian scientists,” says Ellis. For example, he says, Germany has decided to end scientific ties with Russia.

The board’s decision still risks causing pain for physicists in the lab. Russia was granted observer status with special benefits in 1993 in exchange for helping to build certain components, Ellis said. And he had pledged 34 million Swiss francs ($36.5 million) in parts and equipment for an upgrade, starting in 2025, that will dramatically increase the intensity of the LHC’s beams. “If it’s not on the table anymore, it’s potentially a problem for the upgrade,” Ellis says. However, the Russian contribution represents only a small part of the total cost of the upgrade, 950 million Swiss francs.

Ellis and Rembser applaud the council’s decision on the grounds that it could help protect Russian physicists who have spoken out against the war and who could be in danger if they were to return to Russia. Rembser, co-head of a committee to help Ukrainian physicists, says he is already thinking about finding ways to allow Russian colleagues to stay in Switzerland.

In its resolution, the CERN Council also indicated that it would encourage initiatives to support the laboratory’s forty Ukrainian collaborators. And he said he would continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine. “[T]e Council stands ready to take any other appropriate action,” the resolution reads. The council meets again from March 21.

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Some thoughts on the Standard Model of Particle Physics – Kashmir Reader https://polkinghorne.org/some-thoughts-on-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-kashmir-reader/ Sat, 05 Feb 2022 19:58:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/some-thoughts-on-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-kashmir-reader/ It doesn’t answer the most fundamental mystery: what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of our universe? The Standard Model became the fundamental model of elementary particle physics in the second half of the 20th century. It is considered today as the best description of the constituent elements of […]]]>

It doesn’t answer the most fundamental mystery: what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of our universe?

The Standard Model became the fundamental model of elementary particle physics in the second half of the 20th century. It is considered today as the best description of the constituent elements of the universe. It explains how quarks (which form protons and neutrons) and leptons (electrons, etc.) make up all known matter. It is also an explanation of how quarks and leptons are influenced by the exchange of intermediate force carriers. It describes three of the four fundamental interactions that sum up the structure of matter up to the measurement of 10 high at -18 meter. It is in short a quantum theory of three basic theories of electromagnetic interaction, strong interaction and weak interaction. The development of the Standard Model has been led by a large number of experimental and theoretical physicists alike. The structure or mathematical framework of the Standard Model is provided by quantum field theory
According to the standard model, all matter is made up of three types of elementary particles: leptons, quarks and their mediators. There are six leptons divided into three generations. There are also six anti-leptons, so the total number of leptons is 12. Similarly, the number of quarks is six, each of which comes in three colors (this color bears no resemblance to the concept of color in our daily life), which represents 36 quarks in total, including the antiquarks. Quarks like leptons have three generations. Finally, for each interaction, we have a mediator. The carrier of the electromagnetic interaction is a massless photon while the carriers of the weak interaction are called intermediate vector bosons, which are two charged Ws and a neutral heavy Z. Finally, for the strong interaction exchange, we have 8 gluons.
The missing link of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson theoretically predicted by Peter Higgs in the early 1960s, which explains the mass of elementary particles via the Higgs mechanism, involving chiral symmetry breaking, was discovered in 2012 at Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. The marvelous achievement of the Standard Model can be measured by the simple fact that it has led to more than 50 Nobel Prizes in Physics so far.
Loopholes:
Even though the Standard Model is currently the best description we have of the subatomic world, but despite its robust predictions, there is a consensus among physicists that the Standard Model is neither complete nor the final theory. “There is a certain degree of ugliness in the standard model,” says Steve Weinberg, one of its main architects. First, the standard model is completely silent about dark energy and dark matter. This does not answer the question of what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of matter in our universe. Second, it fails to explain neutrino oscillations and, more importantly, it fails to incorporate one of the most fundamental interactions, gravity, which explains the large-scale structure of the universe. At a more fundamental level, he fails to explain why there are precisely three generations of quarks and leptons. Likewise, the difference in masses of the elementary particles that they acquire due to their interaction with the Higgs field via the Higgs boson remains a mystery.
Possible output:
In order to accommodate many of the shortcomings of the Standard Model listed above, physicists over time have come up with different theories and approaches. All of these theories and approaches fall under the category “Physics Beyond the Standard Model”. Theories that lie beyond the Standard Model include the various extensions of supersymmetry and entirely new explanations and theories such as string theory, looping quantum gravity, and extra dimensions. But the theory that has gained most prominence among them is string theory. String theory has captured the imagination of a generation of particle physicists over the past 40 years. String theory not only promises the reconciliation of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s general relativity and eliminates the infinities that plague quantum field theory, it also provides a unified theory of everything from which all elementary particle physics , including gravity, would emerge as an inevitable consequence. But the bottleneck of particle physics, as string theorist and Nobel laureate David Gross puts it, is experimental, not theoretical, so in the absence of experimental evidence to back up his predictions, the future of string theory seems grim, or at least you have to cross your fingers. If string theory lives up to expectations, which seems unlikely, it will be the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

—The author is a physics student
[email protected]





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Postdoctoral Researcher in Theoretical Particle Physics job with UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY https://polkinghorne.org/postdoctoral-researcher-in-theoretical-particle-physics-job-with-university-of-sydney/ Tue, 25 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/postdoctoral-researcher-in-theoretical-particle-physics-job-with-university-of-sydney/ 2-year term full-time job, located on the Camperdown campus of the School of Physics Opportunity to contribute to research focused on theoretical particle physics Base salary Level A $95,000 – $98,000 pa + 17% superannuation About the Opportunity The University of Sydney Particle Physics Group invites qualified applicants to apply for […]]]>

  • 2-year term full-time job, located on the Camperdown campus of the School of Physics
  • Opportunity to contribute to research focused on theoretical particle physics
  • Base salary Level A $95,000 – $98,000 pa + 17% superannuation

About the Opportunity

The University of Sydney Particle Physics Group invites qualified applicants to apply for a Postdoctoral researcher in theoretical particle physics. The position is supported by the Australian Research Council to work with Associate Professor Archil Kobakhidze (Chief Investigator) and Professor Mikhail Shaposhnikov (EPFL, Researcher Partner) on the discovery project “Scale invariance: A new paradigm for corpus physics and cosmology”. The main objective of this project is to elucidate the role of scale/conformal invariance in particle physics and gravity and to elaborate phenomenological and cosmological implications.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • conduct research within the project “Scale Invariance: A New Paradigm for Particle Physics and Cosmology” independently and in collaboration with project participants
  • publish original work in high-impact journals
  • request additional research funds, if applicable
  • co-supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research students
  • participate and give talks at national and international conferences and workshops
  • participate in group research activities (e.g. journal clubs, seminars, organization of conferences, etc.)

The School of Physics at the University of Sydney is the nation’s leading physics department, with exceptional staff and students undertaking world-class teaching and research. Our 114 academic staff and 157 postgraduate students conduct research in a wide range of disciplines: astronomy and space science, particle and astroparticle physics, quantum physics, optics and photonics, complex systems physics, and applied physics and science. materials. The particle physics group is composed of three senior academics (2 experimentalist and 1 theorist), 2 senior postdoctoral researchers (1 experimentalist and 1 theorist) and several PhD students and honors students. The group maintains close collaboration with the Astroparticle Physics Group and colleagues at the University of New South Wales within the Sydney Consortium for Particle Physics and Cosmology (Sydney CPPC).

The School of Physics is committed to creating a diverse workplace by improving equity, access and opportunity. We want to create an environment where individuality is welcomed and celebrated. We continuously strive to identify and remove biases and barriers to make our workplace open, supportive and safe for everyone.

To learn more about the School of PhysicsClick here

About you

The University values ​​courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned with these values ​​and are looking for a Postdoctoral research associate in theoretical particle physics who has:

  • a PhD (or nearly completed) in theoretical particle physics
  • a strong background in one (or more) of the following research areas: quantum field theory and phenomenology, model building and particle cosmology
  • proven track record of delivering high-quality search results
  • the ability to work independently as well as collaborate with project participants
  • the ability to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • experience in delivering research seminars and presentations at conferences
  • good written and oral communication skills and the ability to interact with a variety of scholars and audiences.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of any required pre-employment or background checks on terms satisfactory to the University. Likewise, your continued employment is conditional on your satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary action, including the termination of your employment.

EEO declaration

At the University of Sydney, our shared values ​​include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a university community that reflects the larger community we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase the participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with disabilities, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all walks of life.

How to register

Applications (including cover letter, CV, list of publications and declaration of research interests) can be submitted through the To apply button at the top of the page.

Please also arrange at least 2 reference letters to send to Helen Efstathiou, Recruitment Consultant at within the same period until February 27, 2022.

For University employees or casual workers, please log in to your Working day account and navigate to the Career icon on your dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply. If you are a current University employee or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please log in to your Working day account and navigate to the Career icon on your dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable accommodation or support in completing this application, please contact Helen Efstathiou, Recruitment Consultant. Recruitment Operations, Human Resources on +61 2 8627 7137 or email recruitment.sea@sydney.edu.au

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to make any appointments.

Click to view the job description for this role.

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Beate Heinemann becomes the new director in charge of particle physics at DESY https://polkinghorne.org/beate-heinemann-becomes-the-new-director-in-charge-of-particle-physics-at-desy/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/beate-heinemann-becomes-the-new-director-in-charge-of-particle-physics-at-desy/ A professor of physics completes the board of directors of the Research Center First woman on the board of DESY: Beate Heinemann. Image: DESY / Angela Pfeiffer Beate Heinemann, DESY Principal Investigator and Professor of Physics at the University of Fribourg, will take over as Director of DESY’s High Energy Physics Division on February 1. […]]]>

A professor of physics completes the board of directors of the Research Center

First woman on the board of DESY: Beate Heinemann. Image: DESY / Angela Pfeiffer

Beate Heinemann, DESY Principal Investigator and Professor of Physics at the University of Fribourg, will take over as Director of DESY’s High Energy Physics Division on February 1. This was unanimously decided by DESY’s supervisory body, the Foundation Council, at its meeting on 7 December. Heinemann is the first female director in the history of DESY.

“Beate Heinemann is a real asset to the research centre,” says Dr. Volkmar Dietz of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Chairman of the Foundation Board. “With her international experience, vast knowledge, reputation and forward-looking ideas, she will certainly lead the field of particle physics research into the next exciting era. As the first female CEO, she will mark also the DESY story!”

Beate Heinemann is a true Hamburger, having grown up very close to DESY in Hamburg. She cut her teeth in particle physics experiments and at universities and research centers around the world. After completing her PhD at the University of Hamburg on an experiment at DESY’s HERA accelerator, she joined the CDF experiment at Fermilab near Chicago as a scientist at the University of Liverpool before becoming a professor at the ‘University of California at Berkeley working on the ATLAS experiment, a giant particle detector at CERN in Geneva. From 2013 to 2017, she was deputy spokesperson for the ATLAS experiment. She then returned to Germany to continue her research with ATLAS as a senior scientist at DESY and a professor at the University of Freiburg.

“I am very pleased that Beate Heinemann will join the management of DESY in the future”, says Helmut Dosch, Director of DESY. “His excellent expertise in particle physics and his experience in managing large international teams are perfectly suited to the many facets of fundamental research at DESY and the Helmholtz Association. We are proud to welcome him to the team and have looking forward to shaping the future with her.”

Heinemann succeeds Joachim Mnich, who joined European research center CERN as research director in early 2021, and Ties Behnke, who led the research division as interim director. At DESY, the particle physics division includes not only the particle physicists and technicians involved in the international experiments, but also theorists, the DESY computer department, the library and many service groups such as electronics development.

“DESY is a world-class laboratory and I am thrilled to be part of shaping its present and its future,” says Heinemann. “Many topics and projects are close to my heart – from fundamental research and developments in future technologies to sustainability and diversity. The next decade offers many exciting challenges, both scientifically and socially, and I look forward to the decisive contributions DESY will meet these challenges.”

We spoke to the new director and asked her about her plans and ideas.

What are your plans for your new research center?

As Director, you are not only responsible for your own division, but for DESY as a whole. DESY as a whole is close to my heart. First of all, I think it is very important that we maintain and further expand our pioneering role as a center for fundamental research for the study of matter.

We know that many of the major breakthrough developments and changes stem from basic research. This is why I think it should continue to be the basis of research at DESY – but we also have actions and a research mandate in application-oriented fields, for example climate, digitalization or health . DESY can contribute with all its research areas, for example through new accelerator technologies, new methods for developing detectors or new facilities for photon science. And we must also prioritize sustainability on campus.

Another topic close to my heart, both personally and through my new office, is diversity. DESY must remain a cosmopolitan and diverse laboratory, and there is still room for improvement in many areas, for example the number of women in leadership positions.

And what about your own research division?

Of course, I also have ideas for particle physics, which is based on several very strong pillars at DESY: we participate in international experiments, have our own very interesting experiments on campus, a strong theory group and we are pioneers of digital transformation with our IT sector. . Thanks to our cutting-edge research, we are also very attractive to young scientists who come to us from countries all over the world to do their PhD, postdoctoral research or take up a staff position. We must continue to evolve to stay at the international forefront and review our strategy for the next decade.

In our detector assembly facility here on campus, for example, we are building several core components for the upgrade of experiments as part of the LHC accelerator expansion. DESY has taken on a huge responsibility – it is important that we deliver!

But we can also be proud of the exciting experiments we carry out here at DESY in the framework of international collaboration. The ALPS II experiment will begin next year. ALPS searches for dark matter using small, elusive particles called axions, which also play a role in several other experiments that are on DESY’s wish and planning list. If they all came, which I will of course defend, DESY would be world-leading in the very dynamic field of axion research. The excellent infrastructure we have at DESY as a national research laboratory for particle physics plays a major role here.

We can also be very proud of our theory. It rightly enjoys an excellent reputation around the world, based in particular on the fact that our experts cover more than 60 orders of magnitude in physics – from string theory to cosmology. With the future Wolfgang Pauli Center, it will be even larger and more multidisciplinary.

In the next few years, the course will be set for the successor project to the LHC, namely the next big particle accelerator, the technology and location of which have not yet been chosen. It is very important to me that DESY also actively participates in the preparation of this project in order to maintain and expand its pioneering role.

These are just a few of my ideas and we should always be open to new ones. We have a lot of smart, creative people here, and you never know what spectacular proposition they’ll come up with next.

DESY aside – what are the things that are most important to you?

Above all, durability is very important to me. Our generation bears the responsibility now; we must act now and think climate in everything, both in research and in the development of the DESY campus and Science City Bahrenfeld.

Fundamental research is also close to my heart because not only is it extremely interesting, but it can also stimulate innovation. Take for example the mRNA vaccine, which is based on 20 years of basic research, or the accelerators, which were developed 100 years ago in particle physics and are now used worldwide to treat tumors.

But above all, I am still determined to find out how nature works and what laws of nature underlie it. In my opinion, we are now in the most exciting period in particle physics since the structure of the atom was first discovered and then understood in the early 20th century. In about forty years, physics has been completely revolutionized. At this moment, we are again entering a new energy scale, the electroweak force scale, which is closely related to the Higgs particle and gives us many questions. Studying this scale in detail now is extremely exciting and can also lead to groundbreaking discoveries that no one can even dream of today.

You were born in Hamburg and also studied here. What’s it like to become the first female director at DESY?

First of all, it is a great honor for me to be the first female director at DESY, having taken my first career steps at DESY during my university studies. In general, it is very, very important to me that women have the same opportunities and find the same conditions as men in all areas. In a modern society, we must make the most of everyone’s potential, regardless of gender, religion or social or ethnic origin.

And I’ve always stayed connected to Hamburg: I’m a big HSV fan! As the eldest of three siblings, my dad took me to the stadium from an early age, and to this day I still watch every game with him (although usually on the couch rather than in the stadium) .

DESY is one of the world’s leading particle accelerator centers and studies the structure and function of matter – from the interaction of tiny elementary particles and the behavior of new nanomaterials and vital biomolecules to the great mysteries of the universe. . The particle accelerators and detectors that DESY develops and builds at its sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen are unique research tools. They generate the most intense X-radiation in the world, accelerating particles to record energies and opening new windows on the universe. DESY is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest scientific association, and receives its funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (90%) and the German federal states of Hamburg and Brandenburg (10%).

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ISS uses AR headset to upgrade particle physics hardware https://polkinghorne.org/iss-uses-ar-headset-to-upgrade-particle-physics-hardware/ Sun, 31 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/iss-uses-ar-headset-to-upgrade-particle-physics-hardware/ Mixed reality headsets aren’t just for playing VR games on Earth: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station use an augmented reality (AR) system based on commercial Microsoft HoloLens hardware with software built on measure. Recently, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur used a HoloLens headset to perform a hardware replacement on a very complex piece of equipment: […]]]>

Mixed reality headsets aren’t just for playing VR games on Earth: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station use an augmented reality (AR) system based on commercial Microsoft HoloLens hardware with software built on measure. Recently, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur used a HoloLens headset to perform a hardware replacement on a very complex piece of equipment: the station’s Cold Atom Lab.

The Cold Atom Lab on the ISS is a particle physics instrument that cools atoms to near absolute zero, or minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273 degrees Celsius), a temperature at which atoms move much slower than usual and can be studied in more detail.

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur dons a Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed reality (or augmented reality) headset, which allows her to see both the space around her as well as the digital screens in her field of vision . Nasa

This technology is complex, and therefore maintaining the instrument or replacing parts requires careful instructions sent to the ISS crew from Earth. With the mixed reality headset, astronaut Megan McArthur could see an overlay of text and information when looking at hardware like cables. And the team on Earth could even use an arrow in their vision to point to particular cables they needed to unplug.

“Cold Atom Lab is investing in the use of this technology on the space station not only because it is intriguing, but because it could provide additional capabilities for those complex tasks that we rely on astronauts to accomplish,” said said Kamal Oudrhiri, of the Cold Atom Lab project. director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement. “This activity was a perfect demonstration of how Cold Atom Lab and quantum science can leverage mixed reality technology.”

With the replacement hardware, the instrument now has a new capability: to produce ultracold potassium atoms. The Cold Atom Lab team on the ground says this means it can be used in a whole variety of new particle physics experiments.

“This repair activity also allows the study of potassium gases in Cold Atom Lab, which will allow scientists to perform dozens of new experiments in quantum chemistry and fundamental physics using multi-species gases where atoms interact with each other in interesting ways at the ultra-low temperatures only achievable in microgravity,” said Cold Atom Lab project scientist Jason Williams.

“Our goal is for Cold Atom Lab to become an evolving science facility so that we can quickly leverage our research and work with astronauts to add new hardware capabilities without needing to build and launch new facilities at each stage of the path.”

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New results from MicroBooNE provide clues to the mystery of particle physics https://polkinghorne.org/new-results-from-microboone-provide-clues-to-the-mystery-of-particle-physics/ Thu, 28 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/new-results-from-microboone-provide-clues-to-the-mystery-of-particle-physics/ MicroBooNE detector being lowered into the Fermilab experimental facility. Credit: Fermilab New results from a more than a decade-long physics experiment offer insight into unexplained electronic-like events discovered in previous experiments. The results of the MicroBooNE experiment, while not confirming the existence of a proposed new particle, the sterile neutrino, open the way to exploring […]]]>

MicroBooNE detector being lowered into the Fermilab experimental facility. Credit: Fermilab

New results from a more than a decade-long physics experiment offer insight into unexplained electronic-like events discovered in previous experiments. The results of the MicroBooNE experiment, while not confirming the existence of a proposed new particle, the sterile neutrino, open the way to exploring physics beyond the Standard Model, the fundamental force theory of nature and elementary particles.

“The results so far from MicroBooNE make the explanation for the electronic-like anomalous events of the MiniBooNE experiment more likely to be physics beyond the Standard Model,” said William Louis, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. and member of the MicroBooNE collaboration. “What exactly the new physics is remains to be seen.”

The MicroBooNE experiment at the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory explores a striking anomaly in particle beam experimentation first discovered by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the 1990s, the liquid scintillator neutrino detector experiment at the Laboratory saw more electron-like events than expected, compared to calculations based on the Standard Model.

In 2002, the MiniBooNE follow-up experiment at Fermilab began collecting data to further investigate the LSND outcome. MiniBooNE scientists also saw more electronic-like events than calculations based on the Standard Model prediction. But the MiniBooNE detector had a particular limitation: it was unable to tell the difference between electrons and photons (particles of light) near where the neutrino was interacting.

The MicroBooNE experiment seeks to explore the source of the anomaly for additional events. The MicroBooNE detector is built on state-of-the-art techniques and technology, using special light sensors and over 8,000 painstakingly attached wires to capture particle trails. It is housed in a 40-foot-long cylindrical container filled with 170 tons of pure liquid argon. The neutrinos hit the dense, transparent liquid, releasing additional particles that the electronics can record. The resulting images show detailed particle trajectories and, importantly, distinguish electrons from photons.

“Liquid argon technology is relatively new in neutrino physics, and MicroBooNE has been a pioneer for this technology, demonstrating what amazing physics can be done with it,” said Sowjanya Gollapinni, laboratory physicist and co-lead of analysis. “We had to develop all the tools and techniques from scratch, including how to process the signal, how to reconstruct it, and how to do the calibration, among other things.”

MicroBooNE included a series of measurements: one measurement of photons and three measurements of electrons. In early October, the results of the photon measurement, which specifically looked for Delta radiative decay, provided the first direct evidence disfavoring an excess of neutrino interactions due to this abnormal single photon production as an explanation for the excess of MiniBooNE energy. Delta radiative decay was the only background that the MiniBooNE experiment could not directly constrain.

The three new electron analyzes address the question of whether the excess is due to the scattering of an electron neutrino off an argon nucleus, producing an outgoing electron. The new results disfavor this process as an explanation for excess MiniBooNE, leaving the question of what causes the MiniBooNE anomaly still unanswered.

“In my mind, the fact that neither photon nor electron production explains the excess makes understanding the MiniBooNE results more interesting and more likely to venture into some very interesting physics beyond the Standard Model. “, said Louis.

New results from MicroBooNE provide clues to the mystery of particle physics

Interior of the MicroBooNE Time Projection Chamber detector. Credit: Fermilab

With only half of the MicroBooNE data still evaluated, possible explanations yet to be considered (or tested in future experiments) include the possibility that as yet unproven sterile neutrinos could decay into gamma rays. The decay of the axion – the axion is another hypothetical elementary particle – into gamma or an electron-positron pair could also be responsible. Neutrinos and sterile axions could be linked to the dark sector, the hypothetical realm of yet unobserved different physics and particles.

“The possibilities are endless,” Gollapinni said, “and MicroBooNE will be on a mission to explore each one with the full data set. The results pave the way for further physics experiments, but a full understanding of the results will also depend on our colleagues in theoretical physics, who are very intrigued by these results.”

MicroBooNE is part of a suite of neutrino experiments looking for answers. The ICARUS detector starts collecting physical data and the Short Baseline Proximity Detector (SBND) will come online in 2023; both detectors use liquid argon technology. Together with MicroBooNE, the three experiments form Fermilab’s short-base neutrino program and will yield a wealth of neutrino data. For example, in one month, SBND will record more data than MicroBooNE collected in two years. Today’s results from MicroBooNE will help guide some of the research in the trio’s extensive portfolio.

Building further on MicroBooNE’s techniques and technology, liquid argon will also be used in the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a flagship international experiment hosted by Fermilab which already has more than 1,000 researchers from over 30 countries. DUNE will study the oscillations by sending neutrinos 1,300 km (800 miles) through the earth to detectors at the underground research center in Sanford, South Dakota. Combining short- and long-range neutrino experiments will give researchers insight into how these fundamental particles work.

At Fermilab or underground in South Dakota, Laboratory researchers bring the technology and analytical understanding to probe the mysteries of particle physics. What awaits us is unknown, but exciting.

“What we have found and continue to find with MicroBooNE will have important implications for future experiments,” Gollapinni said. “These results point us in a new direction and tell us to think outside the box. MicroBooNE’s journey to explore the exciting physics that awaits us has just begun, and there is much more that MicroBooNE will reveal in the years to come.”


Scientists find no trace of sterile neutrino


Provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory

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