Professor Peter Ratoff

Distinguished Professor

My Role

Director of DUNE APA operations at Daresbury Lab (2023)

DUNE is an international neutrino physics collaboration aiming to study many aspects of neutrino physics at two locations in the USA during the 2030's and beyond: the Near Detector at Fermilab in Chicago and the Far Detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota (800 miles to the west of Chicago). An intense neutrino beam is being constructed at Fermilab which will send neutrinos through the Near and Far Decectors. Furthermore, neutrinos from non-accelerator sources (atmospheric, solar, astrophysical, etc.) will also be studied with the DUNE Far Detector.

The interactions of neutrinos at SURF will be recorded in enormous deep-underground cryostat detectors containing 17,000 tons of liquid argon. The tiny electrical signals produced by neutrino interactions in the liquid argon will be read-out by Anode Planar Arrays (APAs) which are huge rectangular planes covered with thousands of copper-beryllium wires, each about the width of a human hair. The dimensions of the APAs are an impressive 2.3m by 6.3m – making them the largest individual components for DUNE, and they must be built with millimetre precision. Daresbury Laboratory – with its university partners, including Lancaster – will ultimately produce 137 APAs for DUNE. To meet this need, a large purpose-built APA factory, covering approximately 1,200m2 was created at Daresbury inside a former accelerator hall, and over 20 specific jobs were created for this task (mostly technicians and a few applied physicists). I have a role in the leadership team of the APA project at Daresbury to ensure smooth and efficient running of the Daresbury APA construction factory.

Former Director of the Cockcroft Institute at Daresbury (2014-2023)

The Cockcroft Institute is an international centre for Accelerator Science and Technology (AST) in the UK. It was proposed in September 2003 and officially opened by the UK Minister for Science, Lord Sainsbury, in September 2006 (although operationally active from April 2004). It is a joint venture between the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester and Strathclyde, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Institute is located at the heart of Daresbury Laboratory, adjacent to the Daresbury Innovation Centre, and has established satellite centres in each of the participating universities, including a major experimental facility for the investigation of laser-plasma interactions at the University of Strathclyde (SCAPA). Experimental facilities at Daresbury include the CLARA and VELA electron linear accelerators.

The Institute provides the intellectual focus, educational infrastructure and the essential scientific and technological facilities for accelerator science and technology research and development, which will enable UK scientists and engineers to take a major role in innovating future tools for scientific discoveries and in the conception, design, construction and use of the world’s leading research accelerators for the foreseeable future.

The Institute is named after the Nobel prizewinner Sir John Cockcroft FRS. Born in Todmorden in north west England, and educated in part in Manchester, he is regarded as the pioneer of modern accelerator research.

DUNE UK Production Project (Extension to PYA7260)
01/10/2023 → 30/03/2024

Cockcroft Phase 4: 2021 - 2025
01/04/2021 → 31/03/2025

Cockcroft Phase 3: Year 2-4
01/04/2018 → 31/03/2022

STFC: LBNE and the Fermilab Liquid Argon Detector
01/10/2014 → 31/03/2018

  • Accelerator Physics
  • Cockcroft Institute
  • Experimental Particle Physics