Research Fellows Directory
Dr Andrew Pilkington
University of Manchester
Particle physicists are on a journey to understand the fundamental forces of nature. This journey began in 1687 when Isaac Newton published his law of universal gravitation, a mathematical theory that described simultaneously how planets orbit the earth and apples fall from trees. Fast forward three hundred years and particle physicists have developed the Standard Model. The Standard Model tells us that three more forces govern the interactions of particles; the electromagnetic force that binds the electron and proton inside the atom, the weak nuclear force that is responsible for radioactive beta decay, and the strong nuclear force that binds the protons and neutrons together inside the atomic nucleus.
A key part of the Standard Model is a particle known as the Higgs boson, which is responsible for giving the other particles mass. In July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of a Higgs-like particle. It is now crucial to determine whether this particle is the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model or a new particle entirely. Deviations from the SM could be a 'smoking gun' signal for new physics and help explain the big questions in particle physics, such as the nature of dark matter or the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.
I work on the ATLAS experiment and the primary goal of my research is to pin down the properties of the Higgs boson and understand the relationship between the Higgs boson, dark matter and the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)