University of Bristol: Bristol awarded over £2 million for global particle physics research

The grant will fund various research projects at CERN and other international laboratories, including searching for dark matter and looking for signs of new phenomena in the decays of subatomic particles

The award is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) £60 million investment in particle physics research community in the UK.

Prof Joel Goldstein of Bristol’s School of Physics said: “This is an exciting time in the field – after the LHC discovery of the Higgs boson as the “missing piece” of the standard model of particle physics in 2012, we have been extensively studying the data from the LHC and elsewhere and the first major cracks in the model are beginning to show.

“This grant will support us as we try to verify and understand these anomalies, looking for evidence of physics beyond the standard model.”

This STFC funding aims to keep the UK at the forefront of answering some of the biggest and most complex questions in science and support the next generation of UK particle physicists.

The latest particle physics experiment grants from STFC will fund teams from 18 UK universities to carry out world-leading particle physics research.

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

Ten years after the UK researchers’ contribution to the Nobel Prize winning detection of the Higgs boson, some of the questions that the community is working to answer are:

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 can we detect dark matter?
Are there any new particles or particle interactions we can find?
Professor Grahame Blair, STFC Executive Director for Programmes, said: “STFC continues to support the experimental particle physics community in the UK in answering fundamental questions about our Universe.

“The grants are vital in supporting technicians, engineers and academics in their skills and expertise in the field, all while encouraging career development in fundamental research with both universities and international collaborators.

“This investment underpins the UK physics community and enables continued UK leadership in the field of experimental particle physics.”

Through the grants, the council supports UK researchers working in CERN and its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors, including:

A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS)
Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)
Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb)

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