The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is investing £60 million in the UK particle physics research community as part of its ongoing support.
This funding keeps the UK at the forefront of addressing some of science’s most difficult and complicated issues, as well as supporting the next generation of UK particle physicists.
As part of the current STFC particle physics experiment awards, 18 UK institutions will be able to conduct world-class particle physics research over the next three years.
The University of Manchester’s particle physics division will get £4.6 million in fresh funding. The Manchester team uses data from two of the LHC’s core experiments, which smash protons at the greatest energy presently available to accelerators. They also use cutting-edge liquid-argon detectors to investigate neutrino characteristics and seek for dark matter.
“An key element of our study is to leverage the data gathered by major multinational experiments, since this helps us to understand more about the basic particles that exist in nature,” said Andrew Pilkington, Professor of Particle Physics at The University of Manchester.
“At the LHC, the ATLAS experiment searches for new forms of particles (or particle interactions) that are not anticipated by the Standard Model of Particle Physics, such as dark matter and anomalous Higgs boson interactions.” We explore the characteristics of the charm and bottom quarks at the LHCb experiment to better understand the matter-antimatter imbalance found in the Universe. We research neutrino characteristics and look for novel neutrino species in the SBND and Microboone experiments. The Muon g-2 experiment investigates the possibility of anomalous muon interactions with external magnetic fields.
“We also play a significant role in the planning and building of future particle physics experiments, from LHC improvements to the next generation of neutrino and dark matter investigations.”
Particle physics investigates the world at the smallest conceivable distance scales and greatest feasible energies, in search of answers to basic concerns concerning matter’s structure and the makeup of the Universe.
Ten years after UK researchers contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Higgs boson, the community is trying to address the following questions:
What is the Universe comprised of and why is it the way it is?
What is the fundamental nature of neutrinos?
Why is there an imbalance in the Universe between matter and antimatter?
How can we tell whether there is dark matter?
Are there any new particles or particle interactions that we can discover?
“STFC continues to help the experimental particle physics community in the UK in solving basic questions about our Universe,” stated Professor Grahame Blair, STFC Executive Director for Programmes.
“The awards are critical in assisting technicians, engineers, and academics in developing their skills and experience in the sector, while also fostering career growth in basic research with both institutions and foreign colleagues.”
“This funding strengthens the UK physics community and allows the UK to maintain its leadership in experimental particle physics.”
UK-funded research teams are tackling ground-breaking issues in particle physics, such as the hunt for dark matter, the study of neutrino oscillations, and the search for proton decay — all of which are essential topics in basic physics for which we still do not have answers.