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Dr Steve Boyd

Research Interests

I am currently a neutrino physicist by trade, having taken part in most of the accelerator based neutrino experiments in the last 10 years. I am interested in the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations, which may tell us why there is more matter in the universe than antimatter, as well as trying to measure neutrino interactions more accurately than they are currently known. The projects that I am working on presently are:

The T2K experiment which is operating at the JPARC neutrino facility in Japan. This experiment generates a neutrino beam at Tokai on the East Coast of Japan, and points it at the Super-Kamiokande detector in the Western Mountains of Japan, 250 km away. It's aims are to make precision measurements of neutrino flavour oscillations - the phenomenon where one neutrino type changes into another during flight. This process will help us understand more about the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.

DUNE and Hyper-Kamiokande are the next generation of neutrino oscillation experiments. DUNE is presently in the preparation phase and is envisaged to start data-taking early next decade (neutrino experiments are very big and hence have quite long planning horizons). Hyper-Kamiokande is the Japanese equivalent. It is an upgrade of T2K and is also in the planning stage.

The last experiment I am currently involved with is the MICE experiment. MICE is a technology demonstrator for the Neutrino Factory. The Neutrino Factory is a facility capable of delivering a neutrino beam with unprecedented intensity and precision. Unlike other facilities which generate neutrinos from the decay of pions in a pion beam, this facility generates them from the decay of muons. This method betters our understanding of the neutrino beam by an order of magnitude. Unfortunately, muons are very difficult to use in an accelerator and so the neutrino factory has not been built yet. This is partly due to the fact that the elements of the beamline needed to make it work are on the limits of current accelerator technology. MICE is an experiment set up at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories to test one element of the this accelerator, called ionisation cooling.

Teaching

I currently teach only one course to fourth year physics students : PX435 - Neutrino Physics. In previous years I have also taught PX263 - Electromagnetic Theory. PX434 - The Standard Model and PX110 - the First year Laboratory. I am passionate about enthusastic teaching, as it is in these courses that a professional physicist can best transmit their enthusiasm about the subject to the next generation.

I also organise and teach a set of graduate lectures for first postgraduate students. Warwick Week, as it is known, is a week-long summer school in experimental physics for career-beginning particle physicists. I present a short neutrino course, the lectues for which can be found online:

Write to:

Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
 
 

Contact Details:

Office: P448
Telephone:
+44 (0)2476 573876
Fax:
+44 (0)2476 150897
E-Mail:
s.b.boyd@warwick.ac.uk