Oxford Physics

A.J. Barr





Engagement, media, policy


Prof Alan J. Barr

What we do

The good news is that the LHC experiments can provide the answers to many of these questions. Our group is working on two areas. The first is making sure that the particles produced in the high energy collisions can be detected. The apparatus we're working on is a set of very sensitive silicon wafers, a bit like the chips which are used inside computers. These produce an electrical signal from which we can work out the position of any charged particles as they pass through. This information will then be combined with other measurements to reconstruct what happened in each collision.

The other thing we are researching is how best to measure the properties of any super-heavy particles we discover. Only a very small fraction of the collisions will produce such particles, so it is necessary to isolate those events, and study them in detail. The more careful we are in performing our measurements the more accurately we are able to work out what sort of particles they are - supersymmetric, extra-dimensional, or even something completely different.

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Chart showing the approximate composition of the universe