I am a physicist, author, and educator. As a physicist I have worked on large scale international experiments in the field of particle physics, focusing on neutrino particles. As an author I have written international best selling titles in the field of quantum physics, chemistry and particle physics for a general adult audience and am currently working on young adult non-fiction. As an educator and accomplished public speaker; I am a qualified teacher and have delivered talks and workshops to students of ages 8-18. My method of approaching abstract science with clear visual and everyday metaphors have resulted in successful collaborations beyond science, with artists and the media.
Please contact me if you would like to collaborate or talk about science.
As the only student in my sixth form opting for A-Level physics, I was sent to a girls school to study – the only male in a class of 30. An interest in rocket science took me to the University of Leicester where I gained a masters in Physics with Space Science and Technology in 2005. But, before I had left Leicester my interests had already been swayed to the field of particle physics.
I obtained a studentship to study for a PhD in experimental particle physics at The University of Sheffield. Here I joined the international T2K neutrino particle physics experiment in its formative years. I finalised a design of one of the experiments sub-detectors and developed pattern recognition techniques to reconstruct and identify particles. In 2009 I was awarded my PhD and I continued my work on T2K with a move to Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). Here I took charge of the experiments computing effort. Working with colleagues around the world I ensured that the experiment could process and distribute big data globally. I also developed analysis techniques to extract physics from experimental data using neural networks.
Since joining QMUL in 2009 I have been involved in the university’s outreach programme. In the intervening years the variety, breadth and scale of my public engagement activities have grown. I have worked with designers, artists, the media, and other outreach professionals to innovate the way in which physics is communicated. In 2012 I was presented with two awards from my peers in the high energy physics community and the Institute of Physics physics communicators group for my work in communicating physics. In 2015 the entire T2K collaboration, including myself, were honoured to share in the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
I continue my outreach work as an Honorary Research Fellow at QMUL alongside teaching physics in schools and writing popular science books.