I work on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, of which I was Spokesperson for four years until early 2017. ATLAS is one of the two general-purpose detectors at the proton-proton collider, LHC (Large Hadron Collider). It started operating in 2009, and made its first major discovery - a Higgs boson - in 2012. The second multi-year run ("Run-2") of the LHC started in 2015, at a collision energy of 13 TeV, much higher than in the first data-taking period ("Run-1").
On ATLAS, in Birmingham we worked on four aspects of the experimental preparation: the first-level calorimeter trigger, the semiconductor tracker (SCT), software and physics preparations. I worked mainly on the SCT during barrel module production and preparations for production (2001-2004). From 2004 to 2007 I worked mainly on the trigger.
During SCT barrel module production, we worked on the readout circuitry (hybrids), in close collaboration with KEK in Japan, who supplied the flex circuits for the hybrids, and the Rutherford Lab where the hybrids were combined with silicon detectors and other passive components to produce the individual modules which will make up the SCT. In Birmingham we assembled the hybrids and tested them, and also tested some of the completed modules from RAL. The module testing work was shared with Cambridge and Queen Mary, London.
The Birmingham ATLAS team works on a range of physics analysis, including the study of the Higgs boson, searches for new phenomena, and measurements of Standard Model processes.
Previously I worked for many years on the OPAL experiment. OPAL was one of the four detectors at the large e+e- collider LEP. It ran from 1989 to 2000, and data analysis has been essentially complete for some time.
On OPAL, my interests lay in measurements in the electroweak sector, during LEP-2 particularly of the self-interactions of the W and Z particles - the so-called triple and quartic gauge couplings (TGC and QGC). These are a fundamental prediction of the Standard Model of particle physics, and we measured some of them directly for the first time at LEP-2. The measurement of TGCs that I developed and made employed events with pairs of W bosons, where both W bosons decayed to leptons. This was carried out in collaboration with Alun Lloyd. The QGC measurement on the other hand uses events with two final-state photons, and missing energy signalling the presence of neutrinos. This work was largely passed on to Paul Bell, and has also now been submitted for publication.
I was supported in my research by
the Royal Society
as a University Research Fellow between 1994 and 2002.
I participated in the
Royal Society "Scientists and Parliament" scheme
I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.