News archive

Searches for very rare decays of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS experiment

The Particle Physics Research Centre at QMUL have been searching for the very rare decay of the Higgs boson into two muons harvesting the data collected by the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Only one in every 5000 Higgs bosons decays in this specific way and the ATLAS team at QMUL lead by Antony Fray and Eram Rizvi have been studying this elusive decay in the last year.

The Hyper-Kamiokande Project is in the MEXT Large Projects Roadmap

Hyper-Kamiokande (Hyper-K), a third-generation Water Cherenkov detector and the latest in an illustrious series of world-leading experiments located in Japan, is being developed by an international collaboration. It will take advantage of its predecessors:  the double Nobel prize winning experiment (Super-)Kamiokande and the extremely succesful K2K (1999-2004) and T2K (2010-) long baseline neutrino experiments.

T2K presents hint of CP violation by neutrinos

The international T2K Collaboration, where Queen Mary group plays significant roles, strengthened its previous hint that the symmetry between matter and antimatter may be violated for neutrino oscillation.  A preliminary analysis of T2K’s latest data rejects the hypothesis that neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate with the same probability at 95% confidence (2σ) level.

PsiStar students in visit at CERN

On Monday February 20, a delegation of PsiStar students have visited CERN and its facilities. They visited the first synchrocyclotron built at CERN in 1954 and then they went underground to visit the cathedral-size CMS and ATLAS experiments, taking data at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

New Earth-like planet found around nearest star

Clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System, has been found by an international team of scientists led by astronomers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Celebrate the International Women Day with SPA

SPA and the Juno Committee is celebrating the International Women's Day with a special lecture on women and physics in the developing world. Join us on Wednesday 9th March at 13:30 in the G.O.Jones Lecture Theater. Dr Kate Shaw is a particle physics researcher working in the ATLAS experiment at the CERN collider. She is also passionate ambassador of physics research in developing countries.

Half-Life: A mysterious tale of neutrinos and spies

Frank Close, acclaimed author of several books explaining physics to the general audience, will come to the School of Physics and Astronomy at QMUL on Friday March 4th at 4:15pm in the G.O.Jones Lecture Theatre. He will talk about his latest book telling the story of physicist Bruno Pontecorvo.

Nobel Prize in Physics recognises work in major research area for QMUL

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics recognises important advances in neutrino physics, a major research area for the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The Prize, awarded to Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, marks significant contributions to experiments showing that neutrinos oscillate between two different identities and therefore must have mass.


The QMUL Particle Physics Research Center (PPRC) is hosting the QCD@LHC conference, from the 1st to 5th of September.

National Student Survey Results 2015

Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London is ranked first in London for student satisfaction for the second year in a row, according to the results of a nationwide poll of final-year undergraduates.

Juno Champion

QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded Juno Champion Status by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of action they have taken to address the under-representation of women in university physics.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Particle Physics

The Particle Physics Research Centre (PPRC) in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work within the Hyper-Kamiokande group on the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment. It is expected that the Postdoctoral Research Associate may also contribute to the current Super-Kamiokande experiment.

2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The School of Physics and Astronomy has strongly contributed to the excellent results obtained in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) by QMUL, which has been ranked 9th among multi-faculty institutions in the UK.

PPRC NeXT Student secures prestigious PhD Grant

Congratulations to Mr Declan Millar, a NExT PhD Student on a joint QMUL-Southampton PhD programme on the project `Search for Resonant Production of Top Pairs at ATLAS', supervised by Dr Lucio Cerrito (QMUL PPRC) and Prof Stefano Moretti (Southampton HEP group), who has secured a very prestigious ATLAS PhD Grant.

National Student Survey Results 2014

Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London is ranked joint 1st in London with an overall student satisfaction rate of 94 per cent, according to the latest results of a nationwide poll of final-year undergraduates.

50 Years of CP violation celebrated at QMUL

July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of CP violation. This is a tiny difference between matter and antimatter that is vital for the Universe to have evolved into its matter dominated state. We heard about this discovery from one of the co-discoverers of the phenomenon, Jim Cronin. Following this talk Makoto Kobayashi, who with his collaborator Maskawa, wrote down our current model of CP violation in the CKM matrix told his part of the story. This was the start to a two day event at QMUL to explore the past (and future) studies during the 50 years of CP violation conference.

PsiStar President Honoured

Rebecca Fickling recently won the President’s President Award for her work as the President of the PsiStar Society.

PsiStar is a large and active society and currently has 186 paid members. Rebecca has led the PsiStar committee in organising a strong and varied programme of events throughout the year, including a 200 person strong Physics and Astronomy Ball with food, wine and music. Other events include karaoke nights, summer BBQs, evening Physics and Astronomy guest lectures, trips to CERN in Switzerland, as well as the frequent pub-crawls!

Pint of Science

Queen Mary contribute to International Pint of Science Festival. Coming to a pub near you! The format is simple: 3 days of down-to-earth talks by top scientists in the most relaxed setting possible – the pub! With 14 universities participating and over 150 volunteers, Pint of Science Festival 2014 is not to be missed! Whether you’re a total nerd or simply enjoy a bit of a natter over some liquid refreshment, these talks will engage you with fascinating stories, discoveries and fun facts to amaze your mates.

SPA Colloquium : Showbiz Physics

Abstract : You've heard of Medical Physics, Geophysics, Astrophysics... but have you ever thought about the vital role physics plays in showbiz? Alix Pryde is the BBC's Director of Distribution. She also has a PhD in solid state physics, completed under the supervision of QML's Professor Martin Dove. She'll talk about her career journey from crystals to crystal sets and their modern equivalents.

The National Student Survey

The National Student Survey 2014 (NSS), of final year undergraduate students, officially opens at QM on Monday 13 January 2014 and closes on Wednesday 30 April 2014. The NSS website goes live on Monday 13 January, where students can complete the survey online: Students cannot complete the survey prior to Monday 13 January.

Particle Physics Course at Royal Institution

Dr. Eram Rizvi will be delivering a six-part course in particle physics at the Royal Institution in February. The course will examine the theoretical and experimental developments that led to the Standard Model and the Nobel Prize winning discovery of the Higgs boson. The latest results from the LHC will also be presented including searches for new physics such as quantum gravity and supersymmetry.

Peter Kalmus' 80th Birthday

The PPRC will hold a half day meeting in the afternoon of Wednesday 20th March 2013 to celebrate Peter Kalmus' 80th Birthday. The format of the meeting will be a series of talks by Peter's colleagues over the years, followed by a reception and dinner. The talks will take place in the G.O.Jones (Physics) Lecture Theatre.

Junk the Jargon

On Wednesday 27 February, ten PhD students from QM competed in the annual Junk the Jargon competition. Junk the Jargon challenges participants to communicate their research topic in an engaging and fun way to a broad audience - in just three minutes.

Juno Practitioner Status

The School of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to announced that it has been awarded Juno Practitioner status by the Institute of Physics. The aim of Juno is to recognise and reward departments that can demonstrate they have taken action to address the under-representation of women in university physics and to encourage

The Higgs "seen" at CERN

CERN researchers working on the LHC have announced that they have discovered a particle where they would expect to find a Higgs boson. The announcement is a step forward for modern physics and Queen Mary has contributed technical expertise, engineering experience and computing resources to this work. The announcement however is not a categorical declaration of the Higgs existence or how it fits into the larger picture. 

T2K strikes back after the earthquake

One year after the magnitudo 9 earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, T2K started to take data again. After 3 months of data taking, the first results from T2K after the earthquake were presented at the Neutrino 2012  conference in Kyoto, Japan. The T2K collaboration presented new results on electron neutrino appearance from muon neutrino that confirmed their previous published results in PRL, in July 2011, which reported the first single experimental indication that θ13 is non-zero and large with a 2.5 σ level of significance.

BaBar Tests the Standard Model

BaBar recently unveiled two results that test the limits of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.  Both of these were shown at the Flavor Physics and CP Violation (FPCP 2012) conference in China during May.  The first of these was a measurement of B mesons decaying into a final state containing either a Dτν or a D*τν.  Too many events were found, and the combination of these measurements is in tension with the Standard Model, the measured result is 3.4σ from what was expected, with a p value of 6.9×10-4

LHC to Increase Beam Energy

The LHC will increase the proton beam energy to 4 TeV per beam when it restarts operation in March. The mass range available to the Higgs particle is already narrowed to a window of just 16 GeV. The ATLAS and CMS experiments have seen hints that a Higgs might exist in the mass range 124-126 GeV. To discover, or to rule out the Standard Model Higgs altogether, requires one more year’s worth of data.

HEPP and APP group Annual Meeting

The 2012 annual gathering of the High Energy Particle Physics and Astro Particle Physics groups of the IoP will take place at Queen Mary, University of London's Mile End Road Campus. The programme will encompass activities in both High Energy and Astro Particle fields as well as discussing the synergies between them. Talks will include the latest results from the LHC, up to date reports on neutrino, charged lepton and quark flavour physics, Dark Matter searches, nuclear astrophysics, gravitational waves, and a topical review of early cosmic ray discoveries.

Particle Physics Course at the Royal Institution

Dr. Eram Rizvi will be delivering a six-part course in particle physics at the Royal Institution in February. The evening lectures are aimed at those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of particle physics going beyond a single lecture. The course will examine the theoretical and experimental developments that led to the  Standard Model.

Particle Physics PhD Positions Available

The Particle Physics Research Centre has a number of funded PhD studentships available for UK, EU and International applicants. The deadline for applications is 31st January 2012. Students will join an active group involved in a broad range of activities including neutrino physics, LHC physics and R&D for future experiments.

Two PhD Studentships in Particle Physics Phenomenology

We are delighted to offer two studentships in particle physics phenomenology in the area of neutrino physics. The two studentship projects are  “From low energy neutrino experiments to the early Universe and back”, joint studentship with Southampton University, and "Probing New Physics Mechanisms of Lepton Number Violation at SNO+" based at QMUL and with formal links with the University of Sussex and University College London.

ATLAS and CMS release an update on SM Higgs boson search

On December 13th, 2011 the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson in a seminar at CERN. Both experiments have seen hints of Higgs boson production in the mass range of 120-130 GeV, but not significant enough to prove the Higgs particle existence. Instead, they have limited its possible existence within the mass ranges of 116-130 GeV (ATLAS) and 115-127 GeV (CMS).

Meeting on Low Scale Quantum Gravity

A meeting on low energy scale quantum gravity will be hosted by the Particle Physics Research Centre on 7th December. The Meeting seeks to review the status of quantum gravity searches and phenomenology. Latest results from the LHC experiments will be discussed and developments in theoretical approaches will be reviewed. The meeting is free for all researchers.

New PhD Positions Available

We are pleased to announce two PhD places, available for intake in September 2012 to work on the SNO+ experiment in the particle physics group. These posts, funded by a European Research Council grant are in addition to PhD positions funded through the college and STFC. More details of the SNO+ experiment can be found here.

Neutrino speed at OPERA

An intriguing measurement by the OPERA collaboration may bring into question a long-held consequence of Special Relativity: no matter can travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum. The OPERA experiment measured the neutrino speed faster than the speed of light, where neutrinos were measured arriving at the detector 60ns ahead of the light. The distance traveled between source and detector was 735km. QMUL Particle Physicists are well placed to verify this at the T2K neutrino experiment in the future with an improved system.

The ATLAS experiment narrows the range in the search for the Higgs boson

The ATLAS experiment presented its latest results on the search for the Higgs boson at the Lepton Photon 2011 symposium in Mumbai, India (22-27 Aug.). This constrains the hypothetical Higgs boson to have a mass either in a narrow range between 115 and 146 GeV or a set of higher, unfavored, values.

LAGUNA-LBNO project starting on September 1, 2011

LAGUNA-LBNO stands for "Design of a pan-European Infrastructure for Large Apparatus studying Grand Unification, Neutrino Astrophysics and Long Baseline Neutrino Oscillations". This is Collaborative European project of 40 institutions supported by FP7.The aim of the project is to study the hardware and physics case for a next-generation very large multipurpose underground neutrino observatory. Dr Francesca Di Lodovico and Dr Roberto Sacco work on software and hardware design for liquid argon detectors.

New European Research Council Award

We are very pleased to announce the recent award of a prestigious five year European Research Council Fellowship to Dr. Jeanne Wilson for Probing fundamental properties of the neutrino at the SNO+ Experiment. This grant of €1,345,000 will fund her research work on the SNO+ experiment, probing the fundamental nature of the neutrino and its possible mass and measuring low energy solar neutrino fluxes which will provide an accurate test of the mysterious oscillation of neutrinos from one type into another.

1st SuperB Collaboration Meeting at Queen Mary, September 2011

Scientists from around the world will be congregating at Queen Mary, University of London in September for the first ever SuperB Collaboration meeting. This meeting will bring together people working on the detector, machine detector interface and on the physics programme to discuss all aspects of the project.

New T2K Result

The T2K QMUL neutrino group (, contributed to the ground-breaking result of the first indication of muon into electron neutrinos appearance announced today by the T2K collaboration. This could be the gateway to the resolution of one of the biggest mysteries in fundamental physics – where did the matter in the universe come from?

Forthcoming conferences

The PPRC group is hosting two half-day meetings of the Institute of Physics, one on Neutrino Oscillations Status (April 18th) and one on Top Quark Physics (May 18th).

QM Physicists in major new particle physics facility in Europe

Dr. Adrian Bevan, together with other members from the School of Physics are playing a leading role in the foundation of a major new 500M Euro laboratory to be built in Italy. This "super-B" laboratory will be dedicated to the search for new physics at high energy in a complementary way to the high-energy Large Hadron Collider...