Professor Lee Thompson
Professor of Experimental Particle Physics
- Room: E41
- Phone: +44 (0)114 22 24577
- Fax: +44 (0)114 22 23555
My research interests fall into 2 broad areas, namely neutrino physics and applications of experimental particle physics.
Neutrinos are fundamental elementary particles. Whilst they are hugely abundant due, e.g. to the nuclear fusion processes taking place in our Sun, their properties of no charge, almost no mass and only interacting via the web interaction result in them being the most enigmatic of the building blocks of the Universe. Furthermore, the family of 3 neutrinos exhibit a unique property in that they can oscillate from one type to another, a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation. The discovery of the neutrino was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995 and neutrino oscillations received the Nobel Prize in 2015. In 2015 all members of T2K, including myself, were awarded a share in the prestigious Breakthrough Prize.
I am a member of the T2K (Tokai to Kamiokande) and HyperK (HyperKamiokande) experiments, both large international collaborations of scientists from across the world. T2K is an existing long baseline neutrino experiment designed to explore, in detail, neutrino mixing and to measure some of the parameters of the so-called PMNS mixing matrix which parametrises the process. T2K has already been hugely successful in measuring some of these parameters and placing constraints on others such as δCP, a measure of CP violation in the neutrino sector. HyperK is a planned next generation long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that promises to greatly improve our understanding of neutrino oscillation.
My contributions, past and present, to T2K and HyperK include:
Plans our T2K and HyperK group for the next few years include:
I was previously a member of the ANTARES high energy neutrino experiment and currently have observer status on the next generation project, KM3NeT. I was to Principal Investigator (PI) on the ACORNE experiment that looked into acoustic signatures from ultra-high energy neutrinos.
Applications of Experimental Particle Physics
In addition to my work on neutrino physics I have a strong interest in the application of particle physics know-how to real world problems. This started in 2009 when I was the first academic in the Faculty of Science to be successful in obtaining a grant for a government-funded KTP (Knowledge Transfer Programme) jointly with LabLogic Systems Ltd, a medical and pharmaceutical instrumentation company. During this KTP, along with the KTP Associate, Tom Deakin (now R&D manager at LabLogic) we successfully developed a next generation radionuclide detector that is used in connection with high performance liquid chromatography.
Since then my interests in this area have broadened out to include the development of muon tomography instrumentation for applications as diverse as the monitoring of stored carbon in carbon capture and storage, its use in portal monitors to scan cargo containers for contraband nuclear material and the characterisation of radioactive waste.
I am also a member of the WATCHMAN collaboration which brings together my joint interests in neutrinos and applications of particle physics know-how in a project that aims to develop nuclear non-proliferation instrumentation that is capable of detecting nuclear reactors at a considerable standoff distance.
Recent work in applications of particle physics includes:
See also the Recent Key Publications tab for further information
|Teaching and Departmental administration||
Undergraduate Teaching (Current)
Undergraduate Teaching (Previous)
PHY342 Level 3 Physics Projects (recent project titles)
PHY480 Level 4 Physics Projects (recent project titles)
|Recent key publications||
Over 385 peer-reviewed research papers, h-Index 60 (Scopus)
Neutrino oscillation physics