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Fellows Directory

David Charlton

Professor David Charlton FRS


Elected: 2014


Dave Charlton is an experimental particle physicist who has made significant contributions to several experiments at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), including the search for the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Dave’s research explores the broken symmetry of the electroweak theory — a unified description of the electromagnetic and weak interactions that form part of the Standard Model of particle physics.

His quest for fundamental particles began as a PhD student, where he searched for the top quark using the UA1 experiment. However, the particle proved too heavy to be detected by UA1, which ran at CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator during the 1980s. He went on to spend the 1990s working on the OPAL experiment at CERN’s LEP electron-positron collider, making high-precision measurements of the Z and W bosons.

As current spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration, one of two particle detector experiments at the LHC that co-discovered the Higgs boson, Dave is the scientific head of the collaboration and represents around 3,000 researchers from 178 institutions in 38 countries.

Professional positions

Spokesperson, ATLAS Collaboration, CERN
ProfessorĀ of Particle Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Electroweak interaction, Elementary bosons, Elementary particle interactions, Elementary particles, Higgs bosons, High-energy physics, Particle physics