Skip to content


Fellows Directory

Christopher Llewellyn Smith

Christopher Llewellyn Smith

Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith FRS


Elected: 1984


Chris Llewellyn Smith is a theoretical physicist who made crucial contributions to the development of the ‘Standard Model’ of fundamental particles that make up our Universe. His work helped to show that protons and neutrons are made up of smaller particles called quarks, and that a Higgs boson is necessary if quantum field theory — the equations behind the model — is correct.

Chris was Director General of CERN in the 1990s, where he steered approval to build the Large Hadron Collider — which recently discovered the Higgs boson. As Director of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Division from 2003–2009, he led the development of the UK’s fusion energy programme.

Chris is currently Director of Energy Research, University of Oxford, and President of the Council of SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East). He has spoken widely on international scientific collaboration, science funding and energy issues, and served numerous national and international advisory bodies. His scientific contributions and leadership have been recognised by awards and honours in seven countries across three continents.

Professional positions

President of Council, Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Elementary particle physics


Partcile physics, Energy and power


  • Royal Medals

    For his major contributions to the development of the Standard Model, particularly his success in making the case for the building the LHC.

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.