Theoretical Particle Physics
Prospective graduate students and post-docs and other particle physicists:
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Welcome to Theoretical Particle Physics at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL). We conduct research in the areas of collider phenomenology and astro-particle theory. The collider phenomenology activity includes improved predictions and novel techniques to distinguish signal from background in searches for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the precise determination of the properties of the recently discovered Higgs-like boson. The astro-particle activity includes theoretical developments in dark matter physics, early universe cosmology and neutrino physics.
Theoretical particle physicists develop and test models that describe the fundamental building blocks of nature (elementary particles) and how they interact (fundamental forces). Using mathematics as language and quantum theory as framework, the basic relations can be expressed in surprisingly simple and elegant form. At the same time, they allow to make predictions for amazingly different phenomena ranging from the collision of subatomic particles to the evolution of the structure of the universe. The subfield of particle physics phenomenology is concerned with investigating the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics and possible deviations from, and extensions to, it by making predictions for and comparing with measurements of collider and other particle physics experiments.
With Terascale proton collision data from the LHC, collider physics phenomenology has become a central area of particle physics. The LHC is the first machine that can access the energies required to systematically investigate electroweak symmetry breaking and the origin of mass, to search for supersymmetry (SUSY), or to revolutionise our understanding of space-time by detecting extra spatial dimensions. Another possibility is that the LHC finds evidence for the production of a dark matter candidate. Much of the evidence for dark matter comes from the study of the motions of galaxies. One generally finds that the gravitational mass is much larger than the luminous mass and therefore postulates an unknown type of matter that does not reveal itself by emitting electromagnetic radiation. The hunt for dark matter is also conducted with various dedicated direct detection experiments in deep underground laboratories.
Information about our group can be found here.