As well as local facilities at the University, our researchers have access to a plethora of national and international equipment as a result of our Department’s participation in international collaborations.
At the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, our researchers are directly involved in the ATLAS project, where they have contributed to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Our particle physics researchers are also carrying out award-winning experiments on neutrinos at JPARC and Fermilab, as recognised by the 2016 Breakthrough Prize for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.
The Department is also a member of the Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science and Technology, based at Daresbury and headed by a Lancaster physicist. This facility collaborates with other groups within Lancaster University, including:
Our astrophysicists use the world's most powerful telescopes such as:
At the same time, the group is involved in the scientific planning for several new telescopes and instruments that will come online in the next 5-10 years, and that will revolutionise research in astrophysics. These include:
- 4MOST spectrograph, which will be mounted on the VISTA telescope
- Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (an 8m diameter survey telescope)
- the 40m European Extremely Large Telescope
- ESA's Euclid mission, a wide-field survey telescope for cosmology
- ESA's FLARE mission
- the 6m diameter James Webb Space Telescope
The researchers in this group have made numerous groundbreaking discoveries, such as obtaining indications of dark energy, and the observation of first-generation stars. The Hubble Space Telescope is also used by our space and planetary scientists, who participate in NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission to study auroras on Saturn and carry out experiments in the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Here they observe the unique conditions of the space environment above the Earth’s poles, with access to ground-based instrumentation including SuperDARN.
These broad experimental and applied research activities are underpinned by the research of our theoretical and mathematical physicists, who have made major contributions to the quantum transport in electronics including graphene, molecular electronics, photonic structures, and applications of general relativity and electromagnetism. Extensive numerical work is carried out at large-scale computing facilities, including Lancaster’s High-End Computing Cluster.