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Professor Amanda Cooper-Sarkar

My research

I am a particle physicist in the field of Deep Inelastic Scattering, which uses high energy leptons - such as electrons and neutrinos - as probes to study the structure and dynamics of quarks inside nucleons and nuclei. The momentum distributions of quarks and gluons which are thus determined have aided our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of the universe, but also of the nature of the strong force quantum-chromodynamics which holds these constituents together. This knowledge is now a vital input to the interpretation of discovery physics at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where protons are collided.

My journey

Looking back on my career I would say that I have achieved recognition about 10-15years later than men of my own generation largely due to my decision to prioritise my children over research, throughout their passage to adulthood. But this has meant that I stayed within one area of my research discipline in order that I could cope with the demands on my time, which was ultimately what made me into a world expert in my field.