March 22, 2022 | University Partners

Lancaster University Awarded £2.9M for Particle Physics Research

Lancaster University has been awarded £2.9M by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as part of its continued support for the particle physics research community in the UK.

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

The funding will enable the Lancaster experimental particle physics group to continue its world-class research to investigate phenomena in particles physics with a focus on determination of the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe, precise measurements of the current best theoretical description of particle physics (the ‘Standard Model’) and also theories that go beyond that theory.

The programme utilises facilities around the word including CERN (Switzerland/France), Fermilab (USA), JPARC (Japan) and SNOLab (Canada) and the group participates and leads many activities in the CERN-based (ATLAS and NA62) and neutrino (DUNE, T2K, HK, MicroBooNE, SBND) experiments.

Professor Roger Jones from Lancaster University said: “In a time of very tight budgets, we are happy to have increased our grant support, and will be able to continue a broad and exciting programme addressing the fundamental questions in particle physics.”

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.”