Deadline for Applications: 30th January 2016.
Shortlisted UK-based students will be invited to Edinburgh for interview in February 2016.
This is a unique time to study particle physics. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland produced its first physics collision in 2009 after 15 years of design and construction, and took excellent quality data during 2011 and 2012. On 4th of July 2012 the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the LHC announced the discovery of a new particle with a mass of ~125 GeV compatible with the long-searched-for Higgs boson! University of Edinburgh researchers collaborate on two experiments at the LHC: ATLAS and LHCb.
We are looking for prospective PhD students to collaborate on these two projects. We also have projects on detector development (for the LHC and beyond), on LHC data storage and distributed computing, and for exceptional students to work in collaboration with our theoretical colleagues on understanding LHC physics.
We offer fully-funded STFC studentships (for UK nationals and UK-based students only), SUPA studentships and University of Edinburgh Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarships (for any nationality). We welcome applicants who already hold a scholarship, and also to students who wish to apply for a PhD place in conjunction with a scholarship application. Most projects include the opportunity for a fully-funded long-term attachment to CERN for up to 18 months.More details about our PhD projects and funding opportunities are given below.
High energy frontier physics at ATLAS
Supervisors: P. Clark, V. Martin, C. Leonidopoulos
The Atlas experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN
will provide a very rich experimental physics programme, which may
change fundamentally our understanding of Particle Physics:
it will elucidate the electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism that provides
mass generation in the Standard Model. It may also lead to the
discovery of new particles and candidates for the missing dark matter in
Students will contribute to the maintenance and monitoring of the
detector, software and/or trigger system and study data taken by
Flavour physics at LHCb
Supervisors: F. Muheim, S. Playfer, P. Clarke and M. Needham
The LHCb experiment at the LHC is designed to perform tests of the flavour sector of
Standard Model with unprecedented precision. These measurements constrain fundamental parameters of the CKM matrix of the Standard Model and are sensitive to the virtual effects of new physics through loop-induced contributions. During the first LHC run the experiment has already collected the largest samples of bottom and charm quarks ever collected. This sample, together with a state of the art detector, provides a wide range of opportunities for physics studies.
Direct Detection of Dark Matter
Supervisor: A. Murphy
Astronomical evidence strongly suggests that the baryonic matter (the neutrons, protons, electrons etc. of everyday material) contribute only
about 5% of the mass of the Universe. The rest is composed of dark energy and dark matter. Direct detection of dark matter would
allow this view to be confirmed, and provide a route to new fundamental particle physics. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) project, based at the Homestake Mine
in South Dakota, is the world's leading project in this highly exciting area, while its successor, LUX-ZEPLIN is one of the most ambitious. The group
has responsibility for several aspects of each project, mainly with focus on simulation, data analysis and low background physics.
Research and design of future particle physics detectors
Supervisors: F. Muheim, P. Clark M. Needham and S. Eisenhardt
Particle physics uses many novel techniques in its detectors. Almost all new
detectors push the forefront of technology in one way or the other. Either
through a new technology, or using an existing technology for something
for which it wasn't originally designed. The scale, efficiency,
sensitivity and radiation hardness of the detectors pose
many challenges and some of which result in spin off technology for
medicine and industry.The group is taking part in the development of the Forward Pixel Detectors
for the upgrade of the ATLAS Inner Tracker, which uses leading-edge silicon
pixel detectors. The group is also responsible for the characterisation and
quality assurance of the photon detectors for the upgrade of the LHCb Ring
Imaging Cherenkov detectors, which employ the two latest developments in
the multi-anode photomultiplier technology.
Physics at the LHC: Experiment and Theory
Supervisors: P. Clark, V. Martin, C. Leonidopoulos (PPE); R. D. Ball, L. Del Debbio, E. Gardi, D. O'Connell, J. Smilie (PPT)
A full understanding of the physics at the LHC energy scales may only be achieved by studying both the underlying theory, and its phenomenology, and by examining the experimental data. To facilitate this, we are looking for students who wish to work across the traditional boundary between particle physics theory and experiment. Students will be co-supervised by a theorist and an experimentalist. Students will work on LHC phenomenology, work on the ATLAS experiment (or LHCb experiment) and study LHC data in order to test and refine their theoretical work. Students could choose to work in QCD studies - which is the first step to understanding LHC data, in Higgs physics - studying either the signal or background processes, on flavour physics or in physics beyond the Standard Model. Students applying for this area should demonstrate an aptitude for theoretical physics and will be required to be interviewed by both the experimental and theoretical groups.
We offer a number three main funding options dependent upon your country of residence and nationality:
Self-funded applicants (of any nationality) are welcome, provided they are able to show evidence of sufficient funding There is some other useful information here on cost of living and funding information.
English Language RequirementsInternational students must have evidence of English language competency. Please see the College of Science and Engineering website for more information.
Please complete the online application form by selecting the appropriate start date (e.g. September 2016) and then clicking on "Apply" at postgraduate entry page. Please note the application is for 3 year PhD, even though your PhD course is usually funded for 3.5 years.
In case of any questions, please contact Mrs. Liz Paterson Tel: 44 (0)131 651 7837
The particles of the Standard Model
Simulated hadronic Higgs decay
Peter Higgs (Edinburgh) at CERN
Aerial view of CERN