The Langton Star Centre, QMUL and SEPnet: June 2012 – present
Further details coming soon – for now, see this page.
The Imperial Years: October 2007 – April 2012
I completed my PhD in high energy physics in October 2011. You can find my thesis on the CERN Document Server (CDS) here. I continued as a Research Assistant (RA) with the group until April 2012. While at Imperial, I carried out research in the following areas.
I was interested in how the information produced by a given detector/measurement system can be best used to determine whether something “interesting” has happened in a collision. “Event observables” are variables that combine different inputs — from raw detector readings, all the way to fully reconstructed physics objects (jets, electrons, etc.) — to help with the decision-making process.
One such observable that I’ve been involved with developing is known as αT (specifically, the n-object version). This observable provides a way of selecting events with large missing transverse energy that protects against the false positives that can be caused by object mismeasurement – i.e. “fake” missing energy (see the above figure – the arrows represent particle jets). For a summary and references, have a read of my thesis or have a look at this talk. given at the 2009 Joint IPPP-Imperial College workshop.
Early searches for supersymmetry at the LHC
Supersymmetry is one of many candidate theories for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. One of way testing its validity is to look for evidence that supersymmetric particles are being produced in the proton-proton collisions of the LHC. We suspect that supersymmetric particles (sparticles) would be invisible to our detectors, and so from the conservation of transverse momentum we can infer that this is (or isn’t) happening by looking at the missing transverse energy measured in a collision.
As discussed above, detector mismeasurements can lead to “fake” missing transverse energy, especially in the early running of an experiment. Thus observables like αT can be useful in early searches for supersymmetry (or, indeed, any search involving a missing transverse energy signature). For an overview of the approach, see this talk I gave at the joint IoP HEPP/APP 2010 conference at UCL (pdf).
Undergraduate Research: October 2002 – June 2007
Masters Project: Diboson Searches at the ATLAS Detector
As part of my undergraduate degree, I completed a project under the supervision of Dr Pat Ward (University of Cambridge) investigating the feasibility of diboson studies in LHC proton-proton collisions.
The CERN Summer School 2006
As part of the CERN Summer School programme, I completed a project under the supervision of Dr Markus Keil looking at the implementation of a power supply test system for the ATLAS Pixel Detector system.