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Centre for Particle Physics


The Centre for Particle Physics, part of the Physics Department at Royal Holloway, has a long tradition of participating in Particle Physics experiments. The Centre includes three main groups – the Experimental Particle Physics groups, Accelerator Physics (part of the John Adams Institute) and the Theoretical Particle Physics group.  We are also part of the NExT Institute (new connections between Experiment and Theory).

Research activities

The research at Royal Holloway focuses on fundamental questions in physics today. We have a substantial group working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider and an experimental dark matter group working on the MiniClean DEAP3600 and DMTPC experiments. 

Research on the accelerator technologies is carried out in the John Adams Institute as well as Research and Development for future detector systems. Research in Theoretical Particle Physics, with focus on the study of Dark Matter in the Universe and Large Hadron Collider Phenomenology, is carried out in the Theoretical Particle Physics Group. We’re also involved in Grid computing.  

We are currently recruiting postgraduate students for these projects, which you can read about in more detail below.

Our research projects

ATLAS programme

This project comprises analysis of the experimental data in order to search for the Higgs boson, supersymmetric particles and evidence of extra dimensions as well as the physics of the top quark. 

We also have a major involvement in the trigger and data acquisition system. The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has started collecting data and is now the highest energy proton collider in the world. 

Key staff: Dr. Tracey Berry, Dr. Veronique Boisvert, Professor Glen Cowan and Dr. Pedro Teixera-Dias.

Accelerator Physics 

This programme comprises development of novel electron accelerator diagnostics, such as laser-wire beam measurement devices, resonant cavity beam position monitors and beam generated radiation monitoring. 

We are also involved in studies leading to the realisation of a future linear collider and upgrades of the LHC. 

Key staff: Dr. S T Boogert, Dr. P Karataev and Dr. S Gibson.

Dark Matter

The experimental dark matter research group is involved in many aspects of dark matter detection: we work on novel instrumentation to measure the dark matter wind with the DMTPC experiment. 

We also build neutron detectors for measuring the background to dark matter searches in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant ( WIPP ) and SNOLab underground laboratories as well as developing the calibration system and new analysis methods to distinguish neutron backgrounds from candidate dark matter interaction signals in the DEAP/CLEAN experiment. 

Key staff: Professor Jocelyn Monroe and Dr. James Nikkel .

Theoretical Particle Physics 

This programme is concerned with the study of Dark Matter in the Universe and Large Hadron Collider Phenomenology. Further information can be found here

Key staff: Dr. Nikolas Kauer and Dr. Stephen West

PhD studentships are available

We welcome applications from all areas of the community. We will be accepting applications until all positions are filled. Applications are welcome until January 31, 2017, beyond this date applications will still be considered if positions are available.

Rutherford Prize 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the model of the atom, the Particle Physics group has created a ‘Rutherford Prize’ of £1,000 to be given to an exceptionally promising PhD student due to start in October 2017. The prize will be judged by Particle Physics academics based on the quality of the PhD application and interview.

How to apply

The application procedure consists of two important steps:

  • Complete the online application procedure and submit it. You should also save a copy of the application form.
  • Send a copy of the above application form  and your CV by email to the director of Particle Physics postgraduate admissions (Dr. Pavel Karataev), stating the date and time when you submitted your application.

Centre for Particle Physics


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