A new, ultraprecise measurement of the subatomic muon particle’s anomalous magnetic moment, conducted at US-based Fermilab and involving researchers from UCL, reinforces a discrepancy between theory and experiment that physicists can’t explain, potentially hinting at new physics.
The Data Intensive Science (DIS) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are offering up to five summer research placements to undergraduates interested in pursuing research projects over the summer. Deadline:
A step closer in the quest for Higgs pair production at the LHC
The latest result in the search for Higgs pair production in ATLAS at the LHC, in the 4b final state, is now out:
with big contributions from the UCL ATLAS team, including the co-editor of the journal publication.
Higgs pair production (the production of two Higgs bosons in a single proton-proton collision at the LHC)
is a rare process that can shed light on the properties of the Higgs boson and particularly the Higgs field
potential (the famous "Mexican hat"). The Electroweak Phase Transition, one of the most dramatic and
defining moments in the evolution of our Universe, happened around 1 picosecond (one billionth of a
millisecond!) after the Big Bang. The shape of the Higgs field potential is intricately linked to that moment.
The world’s most sensitive dark matter experiment has gathered its first result, moving us a step closer to understanding one of the biggest mysteries of the Universe. It shows the experiment is successfully operating after years of set up by a
Some of the most fundamental questions about the Universe will be investigated by UCL particle physicists, following a £4.34 million award from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
Mini particle accelerators are a step closer to being realised after a new study co-led by UCL researchers showed it would be possible to accelerate millions of bunches of electrons per second using plasma waves.
The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by UCL and University of Oxford researchers.
The largest ever map of dark matter – invisible matter thought to account for 80% of the total matter of the Universe – has been created by a team co-led by UCL researchers, as part of the international Dark Energy Survey (DES).
The “wobble”, or rate of precession, of the muon particle in a magnetic field is different from what our best theoretical model of the subatomic world would predict, according to an experiment involving UCL researchers that strengthens evidence
Researchers at UCL in collaboration with ISIS, the UK Neutron and Muon source, University of Oxford and the Japanese National Institute of Materials Science have now discovered the existence of helices constructed of the most unexpected components:
The physics and astronomy communities have tried virtual initiatives in the past, in an attempt to bring research at the smallest and largest scales together. ... The UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy has been very supportive of this.
Professor Ryan Nichol (UCL Physics &Astronomy) works in the field of experimental neutrino physics and has been working at CERN on the DUNE collaboration. ... Sebastian Jones, (UCL PhD candidate, Physics &Astronomy) said: “It’s a very exciting step
Physics &Astronomy) who has played a leading role in Higgs searches on both the DZero (Tevatron, Fermilab) and ATLAS (Large Hadron Collider, CERN) experiments over the past 16 years. ... regions where the Higgs boson is produced with a very high momentum,
Matthew Wing (UCL Physics &Astronomy), Principle Investigator of AWAKE-UK and the Deputy Spokesperson for the overall AWAKE collaboration. ... It has been five years since we first started tackling the problem of measuring our accelerated electrons,”
Jenny Thomas has received the IOP's Michael Faraday Medal and Prize for her outstanding contributions to the physics of
neutrino oscillations and, in particular, her leadership of the MINOS/MINOS+ long-baseline neutrino oscillation
See more here.
Two UCL Physics &Astronomy academics recognised with prestigious physics prizes. 12 July 2018. ... Professor Hiranya Peiris (UCL Physics &Astronomy) has been recognised with the Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize for furthering our understanding of the origin
11 June 2018. Physics &Astronomy’s Professor Mark Lancaster has been elected as co-spokesperson of Fermilab’s Muon g-2 experiment. ... UCL Physics &Astronomy’s Professor Mark Lancaster has been elected as co-spokesperson of Fermilab’s Muon g-2
Professor Ruben Saakyan, outgoing SuperNEMO co-spokesperson from UCL Physics &Astronomy, said: “If you ask any theorist today about the most pressing questions in modern particle physics a likely answer will ... Professor David Waters, incoming
Professor Nikos Konstantinidis, UCL's Department of Physics and Astronomy will be co-directing the university's CDT, said: "We are delighted to be part of this exciting STFC initiative. ... UCL has a long-standing tradition of excellence in data
The UK and US governemnts have signed a landmark agreement on scientific cooperation. In particular the agreement commits 65 million pounds to the DUNE long-baseline experiment which the group are working on as part of our 20 year involvement with the US neutrino physics program.
For further details, UCL News article
Congratulations to Gleb Lukicov who was the joint-winner of the best
poster prize at the annual STFC Particle Physics Summer school:
attended by the more than 100 1st year experimental particle physics
students in the country. His poster described his 1st year work on the
Fermilab Muon g-2 experiment.
Here's the man himself with the winning poster on a mug.
Our "neutrino hunters" from the UCL HEP group take over
the Science Museum Lates
with a cloud chamber, a model of the ANITA experiment, lovely pictures of Antarctica and a friendly mannequin wearing Extreme Cold Weather gear!
The first beams have circulated in the Fermilab Muon g-2 experiment; the UK participation in which
is led from UCL.
To mark the
completion of Linac 4, the
new injector for the LHC,
Dr Simon Jolly was interviewed by
BBC World News about the project.
You can watch the video of the interview here
(video courtesy of BBC World News).
Professor Sarah (Sally) Price (UCL Chemistry), Professor Angus Silver (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology &Pharmacology), Professor Jennifer Thomas CBE (UCL Physics &Astronomy) and Professor Neil Burgess (UCL Institute of Neurology) are among 50
UCL Astrophysics, across the departments of Physics &Astronomy (UCL-P&A) and Space &Climate Physics at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL-MSSL), is one of the largest groups in the ... Professors Nikos Konstantinidis and Ofer Lahav from UCL
UCL visits Peking University and Chinese Academy of Sciences. 29 November 2016. In September, Professor Nikolaos Konstantinidis, Vice-Dean (International) for the UCL Mathematical &Physical Sciences Faculty, headed a visit to China to meet some of
Most Physics IT services suffered an outage yesterday due to
asbestos removal contractors drilling through an electrical cable.
We are working to get everything back to normal now.
Proton beam cancer therapy ‘effective with fewer side effects’ “A cancer treatment at the centre of an NHS controversy in 2014
causes fewer side effects in children than conventional radiotherapy,
according to new research.
published in The Lancet Oncology,
suggests proton beam therapy is as effective as other treatments.”
The HEP mail server has died. This affects locally hosted mailing lists (those including .hep.ucl.ac.uk) and forwarding of some HEP addresses. No-one in the group actually has an account on this server any more, and mail sent direct to your UCL address will not be affected. Unfortunately it DOES affect the hepgroup and support mailing lists, among others.
Work is underway to configure a replacement server, using this morning's backup of the old server.
Marie Curie Early Career Researcher in Calorimetry for Proton Therapy.
The UCL HEP group is inviting applications for a
Marie Curie Early Career Researcher in Proton Therapy.
More information is available on our
Proton Therapy Marie Curie ECR page.
Closing date: 28/3/16.
Work begins on new centre to revolutionise cancer care “A young cancer patient was the guest of honour at an event to mark the start of work on
25,000 square metres of state of the art cancer and surgical care facilities at UCLH.
“Keeva Hanbury, 4, was joined by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and actor and
blood cancer campaigner Julian Rhind-Tutt as they officially
‘broke the ground’ at the site of UCLH’s new integrated
proton beam therapy (PBT) and specialist cancer and surgical treatment facility.”
England's first proton beam cancer therapy centre is developed in London
“The new centre, near Euston in central London, will offer the treatment
as well as housing Europe's largest blood disorder treatment unit.
“BBC London's correspondent Katharine Carpenter speaks to the family of a
four-year-old girl who had to travel to America for treatment.”
4 million funding awarded to medical accelerators network. 30 October 2015. Cancer is a major health problem and it is the main cause of death between the ages of 45-65. Although significant progress has been made in the use of particle beams for
Prof Jon Butterworth, head of UCL Physics &Astronomy, has been shortlisted for this year's Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
PR Newswire: Varian Medical Systems Selected to Equip Two National Proton Therapy Centers in England
“... Under a public tender, Varian was selected as the preferred supplier to provide equipment and service to operate two three-room
centers to be constructed in London and Manchester in a contract valued at up to £80 million. ...”
YouTube: UK National Proton Beam Therapy Programme
UCLH a step closer to UK's most advanced cancer treatment.
“ ...The Rosenheim Wing on Grafton Way, together with the adjacent vacant site, known as the Odeon site, will make way for a new patient
facility which, subject to final approval, will include a PBT centre.
“David Probert, UCLH’s strategic development director, is overseeing the development programme with Kieran McDaid, UCLH’s director of
estates leading on the construction project. David said, “The Rosenheim Wing is being taken down ‘brick by brick’ to minimise the disruption
to the people and buildings in the area." ...
“It’s the end of an era for the Rosenheim Wing which was home to several clinical services until earlier this year when it closed to
make way for the new facility.
“The building was named after Max Rosenheim. Max was originally appointed as a research assistant in the obstetric unit at University
College Hospital in 1934 and rose through the ranks to become deputy director of the metabolic unit. He was knighted in 1967 and the building was
renamed the Rosenheim Wing after his death in the early 1970s. The Rosenheim Wing is also remembered as the place where George Orwell died in
“The adjacent site has been vacant since the Odeon cinema was demolished in 1960.”
UCLH: Green light for proton beam therapy centre.
“The Department of Health has announced the preferred contractors for the building and supply of equipment for the proton beam therapy
(PBT) service which will treat hundreds of patients each year at University College Hospital from 2018.
“UCLH’s preferred building contractor is Bouyges UK and the preferred equipment supplier for both the Christie and UCLH is Varian.
Both were selected following a rigorous public procurement process.”
Old lab instruments go on display. 6 March 2015. A display consisting of 16 items used in physics teaching at UCL in the 19th and 20th centuries has been completed on the first floor of the Physics building, outside the entrance to Lab 1 (east end).
Reuters: Cancer-zapping proton therapy only suitable for rare patients.
“ ... Simon Jolly, a lecturer in accelerator physics at University College London (UCL),
said these key features of the proton beam make it highly suited to some hard-to-reach tumors,
or tumors growing very close to other key organs that could be badly affected by radiation,
such as the brain stem or spinal cord.
‘What you're trying to do is deliver dose to the cells that you
want to kill... and do it in a targeted way,’ Jolly told
at a briefing for reporters given by experts on proton therapy.
‘The key advantage with the proton is that it goes in and then stops.
And it dumps must of its energy, doing most of its damage, at the end of its path.
So not only are you doing less damage on the way in, but it also means that if there are
sensitive areas on the far side of the tumor, you will not damage them.’ ... ”
This August, UCL is proud to host the
Boost 2014 workshop.
This will incorporate an event for the public on the evening of Wednesday 20 August, including a virtual visit to CERN.
This is usually called "wash-out". In this paper Frank Deppisch &Julia Harz (both UCL Physics &Astronomy) demonstrate that it is possible to draw conclusions from observations at the LHC on
On Sunday the 8th June between 08:00 - 18:00 the network router serving the Physics Building and machine room, as
well as the LCN and several other buildings, will be upgraded. During this time ALL HEP computing systems will
be unavailable, including desktop PCs, remote login servers, web servers (including this one) and the laptop wired network, as well
as the centrally run Eduroam wireless network.
This does NOT include the Live@UCL e-mail service, but it does include the HEP mail server for those still
Detecting dark matter. 14 April 2014. The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch - whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a
Prof. Matthew Wing wins Humboldt Foundation prize. 7 April 2014. Prof. Matthew Wing has been commended with the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. Conferred by the Humboldt Foundation, this award recognises "[s] cientists and scholars,
The UCL HEP group is inviting applications for a PhD studentship in Proton Therapy.
More information is available on our
Proton Therapy PhD Vacancies page.
Closing date: 2/5/14.
First results from world’s most sensitive dark matter detector.
The LUX dark matter experiment, housed 1.5 km underground at the Sanford laboratory in S. Dakota, USA, has released results from its
first science run to set world-leading constraints on dark matter interactions. LUX rules out the possibility that hints of signal seen in
other experiments are from low-mass WIMPs, whilst achieving a peak sensitivity about three times better than any previous direct dark matter
The AWAKE experiment that will demonstrate proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration for the first time ever has been approved by CERN. The CERN Research Board approved AWAKE which will use the 400 GeV SPS proton beam and is part of CERN's Medium Term Plan.
Power outage, whole north side of UCL (including Physics & KLB), Friday 9th August (before 7pm).
All electrical items which can be, should be switched off in preparation for a short power cut expected to affect much of the North side of UCL as
we switch to generator power to insulate UCL against possible power disruption due to some underground cables needing to be relocated outside UCL
somewhere in the locality.
UCL Physics News: Funding approved for state-of-the-art UCLH Proton Therapy Cancer Facility.
“ ... ‘High energy physics isn’t just for exploring the sub-atomic universe,’ says Dr Simon Jolly,
an accelerator physicist within the department working on both facilities.
‘The accelerator technology used in proton beam therapy comes directly from high energy physics,
developed for particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider to investigate nature's fundamental building blocks.
Without that pure research we wouldn’t have these tools for cancer treatment.’ ... ”
Government commits £250 million for innovative cancer treatment to save lives and reduce side effects.
A major new cutting edge radiotherapy treatment will be available in the UK thanks to £250 million of government funding to build two new
facilities in Manchester and London, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry confirmed today.
UCLH to provide world-leading radiotherapy for cancer patients.
The world’s most advanced form of radiotherapy is coming to UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) after the
Government today committed £250 million to bring Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) to the UK.
The muon storage ring for the FNAL g-2 experiment has successfully arrived in Fermilab after its 3000 mile
truck, barge, truck journey from Brookhaven. Many pictures etc here and a party tonight in FNAL.
UCL is elected to the Fermilab
Universities Research Association : we join Manchester as the two UK
members of the association.
The HEP mail server and all disk servers are now back online.
It does not appear that any data has been lost or corrupted, but
please do report any suspicious behaviour to the support team.
Some /unix directories now available. HEP mail server still down.
See details here.
Prof. Higgs, Prof. Konstantinidis and Dr Cooper
discussing recent developments
and the future of High Energy Physics in the margins of the EPS-HEP Conference in Stockholm!
We are still in the process of checking systems and getting them working again,
but as the air conditioning will not be restored until late tomorrow, and
there are still problems with some servers, we will not make any of the
/unix file servers available until tomorrow morning.
The HEP mail server has been damaged by last night's incident in the machine
room, and will have to be restored from the backup made early on Monday
morning. Most of the /unix file servers will be back later today, but
some data has been lost. More details later.
Due to an aircon failure in the machine room that triggered the fire alarm several disk servers are currently powered off. No estimate of when normal service will be restored!
Jon Butterworth, Professor of Physics and Head of Department, has won the Institute of Physics' Chadwick Medal and Prize.
More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
We are in the process of restoring HEP computing services. Most should now
be working. Plus1 is not yet available, but plus2 is working so can be used
All HEP computing systems will be unavailable from the afternoon of Friday 7 June until some time on the morning of Monday 10 June. This includes HEP e-mail (but not Live@UCL), desktop PCs, plus1/2, the web server www.hep.ucl.ac.uk, databases, the print queues, everything!
The only exception is the laptop network, which should continue to function.
This outage is necessary in order to allow electrical work in the machine room, including a safety survey (following some disturbing discoveries during earlier work) and fixing some faulty ammeters.
CERN is hosting a TEDx event on 3 May 2013. More information on this story is available from the main UCL News page.
All HEP computer systems (apart from the LCG site) should be back to normal
after today's electrical work. Please report any remaining problems.
Some HEP computer systems will be shut down in the afternoon of Thursday
14th February, and should be back up by the end of Friday. More details will
follow. This is to allow electrical work to take place in the machine room.
All services should be regarded as "at risk" on both days.
The Live@UCL e-mail service is now working again after a failure of the IMAP/SMTP server and web interface for an hour this afternoon.
An experiment to look for one of nature's most elusive subatomic particles is finally under water, in a stainless steel tank nearly a mile underground beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota.
More information on this story is available from the Main UCL News page.
On Wednesday 24th October 2012 UCL High Energy Physicist Simon Jolly performed a stand-up comedy set at the annual
Bright Club extravaganza at the
UCL Bloomsbury Theatre.
For more information, including a recording of Simon's set,
see our Bright Club web page.
Now available: quick reference guide to Live@UCL
and the e-mail migration project.
Dr Anna Holin, a current member of the High Energy Physics (HEP) group has been awarded one of the five Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships.
Additionally Dr Andrew Pilkington has been awarded a University Research Fellowship and will join the HEP group in January 2013.
More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
UCL physicists celebrate discovery of Higgs-like particle.More information on this story is available from the Main UCL News page.
The scientific community is celebrating one of the most significant achievements for several decades, the discovery of the Higgs Boson. More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Jon Butterworth discusses the latest measurements of the mass of the W boson in Nature News & Views in Particle Physics: A reminder of the beauty we know.
Listen: "Not just the Higgs Boson", Prof. Jon Butterworth on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
The CDF experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron collider has released a new measurement of the mass of the W boson that is, by some margin, the most precise in the world. More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Prof Jon Butterworth and Research Associate Adam Davison appeared on the BBC 2 Horizon programme 'The Hunt for Higgs: A Horizon Special'.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Profs. Des McMorrow (CMMP), Alex Shluger (CMMP) and Jenny Thomas (HEP) have all been elected to a Fellowship in the American Physical Society. More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Prof. Jon Butterworth, Head of Department, talks to John Humphrys on the BBC News Today programme about the search for the Higgs Boson and progress to date.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Power to the machine room was accidentally cut by an engineer working on the UPS. All services should be back up now. If anything is still not working, let us know.
Normal power now restored. All services should be available until the next power outage for electical testing in the KLB (a week or 2 away). Please switch on your desktop PC.
At 11:00 today (Monday) there will be a short outage of the mail and
web servers while we move them back to the server room. Please also
log off before leaving this evening, as all HEP computers in the
Physics Building will be shut down at 06:00 on Tuesday morning before
the campus is switched back from generator to mains power between
07:30 and 09:00.
Due to a fault in the UPS, we will have to switch off all our servers
starting at 06:00 on Tuesday, as well as desktop PCs. This includes
the mail and web servers. Some of our file servers will have to be
turned off earlier, at 16:40 today (Monday). We will restore service
as soon as possible after 09:30 on Tuesday.
The switching of the electrical supply for the campus, including Physics,
back from generator to mains power has been postponed from Tuesday 6th to
Tuesday 13th September at some time between 7:30 and 9:30am.
We will switch of all PCs in the Physics Building on the evening of Monday
12th September. The machine room is protected by a UPS and so our servers
should continue to operate.
In preparation for the weekend's electrical work, we will start
shutting down servers starting at 16:00 today.
The mail and web servers will be unavailable for a short time
from about 13:00 as we move them to the Physics Building, but should
continue to work through the weekend.
We will leave the home directory and LDAP servers running until 5am,
so that desktop PCs and plus1 can be used, but these (desktops and
plus1) will be shut down at 5am.
Electrical testing work will be carried out in the Physics server room on
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September. We will move the mail and web
servers to the Physics Building so these will suffer a short interruption
on Friday 9th and Monday 12th September. All other servers, including home
directories and plus1/2, will be shut down from Friday evening until
The home directory replacement is now complete, and you can turn desktop PCs
Scientists involved in the MINOS experiment, including six members from UCL Physics and Astronomy, have announced the results from a search for a rare phenomenon: the transformation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos. More information on this story is available from the Main UCL News page.
Professor Jenny Thomas, from the High Energy Physics (HEP) research group was awarded a CBE for "services to science" in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Power to the main UCL campus will be interrupted next Thursday, 28th
April. This will of course mean our computing services will be
disrupted, and will not return to normal until Tuesday 3rd May, after
the long weekend. Core services (mail, web, home directory and user
authentication servers) will be at risk, and everything else will be
turned off. More information here.
On Tuesday 15th March 2011 two UCL High Energy Physicists, Jon Butterworth and Ryan Nichol, took to the Bright Club stage to try their hand at stand-up comedy.
Artist in Residence joins High Energy Physics Group.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Particle Physics by Brian R Martin- on sale now!More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Everything should be back to normal after the server reboot this morning.
CERN press release for the observation of jet-quenching in
We will be upgrading plus1 from Scientific Linux CERN 4 (SLC4) to the
current version, SLC5, on Monday from 10:30. Please ensure you log out
before this time. The upgrade should not take more than an hour or
Adam Davison and Shaun Thomas pictured receiving their prizes
for their postgraduate thesis work at the 2010 Physics and Astronomy Prize-Giving evening on 28th October.
An article by our very own Derek Attree showcasing his skills outside of
HEP in Marine Modelling.
Two of our group recently appeared on Channel
4, joining a discussion of Prof. Hawking's recent book.
ATLAS has released the
first LHC paper to probe physics beyond the Standard Model.
There's a brief explanation
Guardian film from ICHEP featuring Jon, Adam, Justin, Emily and others. Also Jon's posts from the meeting.
ATLAS has released its first jet cross sections. They are
and there's a brief explanation of them
The HEP group web server www.hep.ucl.ac.uk will be moved to a newer machine on Monday 12th July at 10:00. While the switch is happening, for probably an hour or two, the server will not be available, so group web pages will not be visible. This includes the wiki and eLog.
Jon Butterworth talks to the Wellcome Trust's Dan Glaser about the unique pleasures and frustrations of working on the most powerful physics experiment ever conceived.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Dr Justin Evans, member of the High Energy Physics group, has been awarded the 2010 Alvin Tollestrup award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Research.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
ATLAS has released its first 7 TeV physics results. They are
and there's a brief explanation of them
First ATLAS physics results from LHC collisions.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Prof. Jon Butterworth explains the significance of high energy particle collisions at CERN.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
UCL~s Professor John Butterworth, who led the UK development of one of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) detectors, explains the significance of the record-breaking particle collisions achieved today.More information on this story is available from the Main UCL News page.
One of our two home directory servers is unwell, which unfortunately means
that some of you will not be able to access your home directories at all
until the problem has been resolved. We are unable to log in remotely so
I'm afraid it is unlikely anything can be done until Monday morning.
Most problems arising from the failure of our home directory server have been
resolved. Files have been restored from the backup made at about 2am on
Saturday. Please contact the computing support team if you cannot access
your files, or if you made any changes on Saturday that have been lost.
The UCL Provost, vice-Provost for Research, and Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department visited CERN on 8th February 2010
(amateur photos and
the professional ones)
ATLAS and the LHC in the Camden New Journal
NY Times: Collider Sets Record, and Europe Takes U.S.'s Lead
First ATLAS collision events. As seen by ATLANTIS
and described by e.g.
the Guardian. Now with a 2.36 TeV collision - LHC is now officially the highest energy collider in the world.
Some UCL-related LHC coverage: Discovery News : BBC :
Prof. Jenny Thomas has been elected to be Co-spokesperson of the MINOS experiment.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
Jenny Thomas elected co-spokesperson of MINOS
LHC lives again! See ATLAS pictures here and follow CERN here.
Colliding Particles episode 5 out now!
Members of the UCL HEP group and other researchers in the Gargamelle collaboration circa 1973 have been honoured with the 2009 European Physics Society (EPS) High Energy and Particle Physics prize.More information on this story is available from the Physics Department News page.
New LHC restart schedule announced: first beams late September 2009, first collisions late October
Dr. Simon Bevan receives the HEP postgrad prize from Prof Jonathan Tennyson FRS. Celebration of Janet Fraser's many achievements (and years!) in UCL HEP
Congratulations to Matthew Wing who has been awarded the Moseley
medal and prize
'For his outstanding contributions to the experimental programme of
the HERA collider at DESY, the leading experimental facility for
studying the detailed sub-structure of the proton. In particular his
work has led to a deeper understanding of the strong force and will
have important applications to the LHC and future colliders.'
Congratulations to Matthew Wing who has been awarded the Moseley
medal and prize
Ilija received a prize (matching his tie wonderfully) for the best doctoral thesis in the field of natural sciences. His thesis was a measurement of the weak coupling between up and bottom type quarks (Vub ). Congratulations Ilija.
The Grid PP collaboration meeting is here Wednesday and Thursday this week.
A new certificate has been generated for IMAPS access to
the mail server (since the old one was about to expire). If your mail client
prompts you for accepting a new certificate select
"accept permanently" and you'll be OK until next year.
Due to the power failure at UCL on Sunday, the HEP computer systems all
failed. The most important services (mail, web server, home directories, plus1)
will be restored to normal as soon as possible, but there will be a further
outage later on Monday so the batch farm, file servers etc. will be left
offline until at least Tuesday.
The batch farm queues 'short' 'medium' and 'long' have been modified for job execution on the new 64-bit nodes. The 'medium64' queue has been discontinued and a new 'medium32' queue introduced for job execution on the old 32-bit nodes.
Group meeting TODAY. The agenda is here.
One of our illustrious emeritus members is
Article on the LHC in Custom PC from Matt.
A new certificate has been generated for the trac server cvs.hep.ucl.ac.uk.
Postdoc positions and studentships are
available via the Origins Institute.
Colliding Particles episode 2 out now!
Lily Asquith, particle investigator
"Grid of 100,000 computers heralds new internet dawn" according to the
Times, with a nice view of
Atlantis in a photo at the start of the article!
There will be a group meeting TODAY. The agenda is here. As featured in the Daily Telegraph.
commisioning the LHC. Looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer *sigh*.
Another power outage will affect our machine room and the Physics Building over the weekend. Desktop PCs will be turned off on Friday evening, and all but some core services will be stopped until Monday morning. More details here.
Our computer services are back up after the weekend's power outage, apart from a few data disks, which will be back later today: nemo2, atlas4, anita2 and calice. On Saturday one of the UCL core routers suffered an outage which affected access to our mail server as well as most or all of the UCL network.
Even if you have been on Mars, you probably noticed that the first protons went round the LHC on Wednesday.
Here's what we saw in ATLAS.
Some news nuggets of particular UCL interest from the overwhelmingly positive media storm (add more if you have them):
Catrin's live blog from CERN Quick reactions from the London end :
and more Cheesy ATLAS/CMS - UCL/Imperial - Butterworth/Nash rivalry Big bang big benefits on Sky News. Lehrer Hour (USA PBS) (there was a London segment at the start of this, but they seem to have removed everything except Brian Green now)
The Times Guardian (Lily & Mark in the background) A blog from the school pupils who were there in London Scotsman Evening Standard Wales online/Sunday Mercury
UCL people also featured on BBC Breakfast, ITV news, GMTV and Al Jazeera English, London Lite, MSNBC, Classic FM (!), Capital Radio ... probably more.
The UCL Institute for Origins is now approved!
Due to more electrical work affecting our computer room, all computer services apart from the mail server and laptop network will be unavailable from 5pm on Friday 12th September until about 10am on Monday 15th September.
See this wiki page for more details.
Alternative podcast link for older (non RSS aware) web-browsers here.
LHC schedule. First beam 10 September!
ATLAS featured in a UCL podcast. Second feature in the 15th August podcast.
The wiki has been upgraded to a newer version and should be working again. Details here.
On Tuesday 24th June 2008 the wiki will be unavailable from about 2pm to 4pm for an upgrade. Permissions will also be changed so that the HEPGroup wiki can only be read by registered users. Details here.
All about the LHC from the Guardian's point of view.
With this note we want to inform you about the latest
schedule and planning of the LHC start-up, as it was
agreed yesterday in a special meeting chaired by the
Director-General, bringing together the experiments and
the LHC machine.
Based on the good progress for the cool down of the LHC
sectors, and on the powering tests from two sectors, the
following planning was arrived at:
1) End of June: The LHC is expected to be cooled down.
The experiments are requested to have
their beam pipes baked out.
2) Mid of July: The experimental caverns will be closed
after the caverns and tunnel have been
patrolled. From then on the controlled
access system will be fully activated.
3) End of July: First particles may be injected, and the
commissioning with beams and collisions
4) It is expected that it will take about 2 months to have
first collisions at 10 TeV.
5) Energy of the 2008 run: Agreed to be 10 TeV. The machine
considers this to be a safe setting to optimize up-time
of the machine until the winter shut-down (starting
likely around end of November). Therefore, simulations
can now start for 10 TeV.
6) The winter shut-down will then be used to commissioning
and train the magnets up to full current, such that the
2009 run will start at the full 14 TeV design energy.
Marzio Nessi and Peter Jenni
A new certificate has been generated for the web server. Please accept it when prompted.
A power failure in IS main machine room is affecting our network as well as UCL central services, so access to data disks, e-mail etc. may be slow or not work at all.
"Higgs Hunters for the Day!!" Atlantis is used by hundreds of students at
the RAL MasterClass.
Ian Pearson, the science minister visits CERN and the ATLAS
experiment, and is
impressed. Jon Butterworth and Catrin Bernius from UCL are amongst
the small team of UK scientists showing him around.
All HEP computing services are likely to be severely disrupted from 19:00 on Wednesday 2nd April to 08:00 on Thursday 3rd April. This is due to network cabling work by Information Systems.
Power failure on core servers. Some fool managed to knock apart an extension lead servicing our
user, home, mail, www servers. Although the servers were restarted in minutes there was a
problem with the authentication system. This has been repaired, but if you have any problems, please contact
The LHC start-up and ATLAS feature on
sky news TV this morning.
The new "plus1" (SSH gateway) is now online, replacing the old machine. The address of the new machine may not have been updated in the nameservers everywhere. If logging in from e.g CERN you can use the numeric address 188.8.131.52 or just use plus2 until this has been updated.
Computing UPDATE: the short, medium, long and medium64 batch queues are all in operation.
Computing UPDATE: All data areas in /unix are now back. The medium64 (64-bit) batch queue is working, and the 32-bit short queue is working with a small number of nodes. The medium and long queues will be back in service on Monday.
Computing UPDATE: Data areas (/unix/...) are back, except for anita1, atlas1, lc1 and nemo1. These, and the batch farm, should be back in operation some time on Friday.
UPDATE: Core services back online. Other services, including group discs (/unix/...)
and the farm should be back up by the end of the week. Watch this space..
Computing UPDATE: Home directory, Mail and Web will be moved today at 13h00. They will be offline 1-3 hours.
Desktops will be shutdown remotely at 12h45. Please keep an eye on the D17 notice board for further
HEP computing services will be disrupted between Tuesday 19th and Friday 22nd February as we move to a new server room. The farm will be shut down on Wednesday at about 1pm. File servers, including home directories, as well as the mail and web servers, will be unavailable for some time on Thursday.
More details here.
New certificates have been generated for both IMAPS and HTTPS access to
the mail server (since the old ones have just expired). If your mail client
or web browser prompts you for accepting a new certificate select
"accept permanently" and you'll be OK until next year.
Giulio Lenzi is visting for 3 months from 7 Jan 2008. He is a PhD student from Florence, on an MCnet short term studentship.
GRID tutorial by Dr. Max Berger on 28.01.07. Please go here for more information
Agenda for the Xmas Meeting and dinner.
STFC Town Meeting
Plus1, the mail server and the web server will be rebooted at 12:00 on Wednesday 12th December to pick up a(nother) new kernel. They should be unavailable for less than 10 minutes.
Plus1, the mail server and the web server are back up after the reboot.
Ministers Review Physics Funding.
In order to install the latest kernel on our computers, they will need
to be rebooted. This will affect most desktop PCs and servers and will
take place on Thursday 6th December from 7am. More details here.
Almost all machines have been rebooted successfully. Plus1 is back up and
now has the correct SSH host key, so you should be able to log in without
Please report any remaining problems to the computing support team.
In order to install the latest kernel on our computers, they will need
to be rebooted. This will affect
* most desktop PCs
* disk servers, including home directories and data areas
* the mail and web servers
* the batch server
* database servers
* the CVS/Subversion/Trac server
Jobs on the batch farm should not be affected since the farm nodes are
being upgraded a few at a time after draining them of jobs. Some
desktop PCs have already been rebooted recently for other reasons and
will not need to be rebooted again. plus2 also already has the new
We will start the process remotely at 07:00 on Thursday 6th December
2007. If all goes well, the machines should all be back in service
within a short time. If there are any problems we will solve them as
soon as we can once we get to UCL, which is likely to be after 09:00.
Plus1 will be unavailable until about 11:00 as we will take this
opportunity to install larger disks.
UCL makes it to the top 10 World Universities! Details in
the Guardian .
The current network problems, which are making access to e-mail, web, shared data areas and so on rather slow, are more widespread than our own HEP network. They are under investigation by the IS Networks Group.
The upgrade of the SSH login server plus1 has been unsuccessful, and the machine will unfortunately be unavailable until further notice. We are still trying to fix it or find an alternative solution. Meanwhile please log into plus2 instead.
The SSH login server plus1 will be unavailable for a while from 1pm on Thursday 25th October for an upgrade. You can use plus2 meanwhile, but we recommend you switch back to plus1 when it comes back.
Congratulations to Sthatis Stefanidis who has won the prize for Best PhD Student in HEPP for the session 2006/07. The Prizegiving, followed by a Reception, will take place on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 between 18.00 - 20.00 in The Old Refectory, UCL. You may bring two guests with you.
If you'd like to attend, please contact Trea Saint with the names of the guests by Monday, 22 October.
On Thursday 18th October the remaining SLC3 farm nodes will be upgraded to SLC4. Test your jobs on SLC4 before then. More details: batch farm.
All the farm nodes and the batch server have now be upgraded to SLC4. The temporary "slc3" queue has therefore been closed. The queues "short" medium" and "long" are operating as normal.
Apologies for the current problems with the home directories. Quotas were not enabled after the server upgrade. We are working to resolve the problems. If you have trouble logging in, see Matt in D15.
The home directory server and batch farm will be unavailable from 13:00 today (Monday 8th October) for an operating system upgrade. If you log off beforehand it will probably save you some problems when the home directories come back. Check the whiteboard or the web page for updates.
Upgrade progress: all services should be working again. The batch farm is temporarily running with both SLC3 and SLC4 nodes available: see farm status.
The draft agenda for the group meeting on Monday 24 Sept is now available.
Come to the Origins Town Meeting, Wednesday 29th August.
The batch farm is now running again, with SLC3 on four nodes and SLC4 on the
other 13. The short, medium and long queues now send jobs to the SLC4 nodes.
The "slc3" queue sends jobs to the SLC3 nodes and has the same time limits as
the medium queue.
On Thursday 18th October we will upgrade the remaining SLC3 nodes to SLC4.
The Hadron-Elektron Ring Anlage (HERA) was switched off at 22:30 on 30th June, after a magnificent 15-year run. The proton
will never be the same again.
The ILC Energy Spectrometer hits the headlines in today's SLAC
CDF discovers a new baryon with quark content (dsb)
increasing its new particle count to 6 - one meson
(Bc), one quark (the top) and four baryons.
It has also been seen by DZERO but the CDF mass measurement is 6 times more precise !
See the FNAL press release here and details of the CDF analysis
The UK Particle Physics Bubble Chamber Football tournament will be hosted by UCL on Sat 23rd June at Shenley. Support welcome. Some history.
ANITA in the news.
ANITA has finally made it to the big time! It is the lead story on UCL News at the moment.
The other NEMO experiment (acoustic neutrinos in the Med) has missed the neutrino but found a host of sperm whales - see the article in the
CERN makes its way into the underground press !
Acoustic neutrinos have escaped UCL and have been 'cited' in the Guardian. You can find the article here. Updated LHC start-up plans
announced by CERN.
A BBC Horizon program tonight (May 1st) at 9pm on BBC 2. Details
ATLAS in The Sun !
The UCL CDF direct W width measurement is result of the week at Fermilab.
The edition also includes a Fermilab statement about the LHC magnet failure.
The HEP mail server is now available again. Please restart your mail client
and let us know of any problems. There are still some adjustments to be made,
but you should be able to send and receive mail again. It may take a while
for the incoming mail that has been queued this afternoon to get through.
The HEP mail server will be unavailable for some time this Wednesday, 28th March. This is due to a long overdue move to a new machine, which is more powerful and has a larger disk.
The process will start at 12:00 and will probably take at least an hour. Please exit your mail client before this time. Once the process is complete, everything should function as before.
Apologies for the short notice, but if we don't do this now the old server may run out of space during the Easter break.
Not sure why this is news. CDF makes the shock statement that it has found no new physics in data that it has already looked for new physics in. Nevertheless it is worthy of the following coverage in
The 2007 HEP MasterClass will take place on Thursday 29th March.
About 60 sixth-form students and their teachers will visit.
If you would like to help, please contact Nikos.
More info can be found
A new SSL certificate has been generated for the mail server's imap server.
A new SSL certificate has been generated for the mail server's web interface. Your browser will probably ask you to accept the new certificate next time you access squirrelmail or mailman.
CDF announces its first W mass measurement of run-2. This has now
eclipsed LEP-2's best measurement from ALEPH. Combined with the
world's best top mass measurement, CDF's new W mass measuremnt has
reduced the uncertainty on the predicted Higgs mass. The new W mass
value from CDF is 80,413 +/- 48 MeV compared to the previous world
average of 80,392 +/- 29 MeV. The new W mass world average, 80,398 +/-
25 MeV, reduces the predicted Higgs mass from 85 to 80 GeV and the 95%
CL upper limit is reduced from 166 to 153 GeV.
Further details can be found from the CDF
talk presented at FNAL on Jan-5 and from the PPARC press release
Coverage also in
New Scientist ,
BBC , Nature and Nature again...
Channel 4 new
on the LHC... including comments from a member of the group!
Agenda for the Xmas Meeting and dinner.
Subject: Central IT services: Weekend outage 15/16/17th December
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 10:56:08 +0000 (GMT)
From: Information Systems Bulk E-mail Account
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
To: All UCL staff and students
Central IT services: Weekend outage FRI 15th - SUN 17th DEC
This is a reminder about the central IT weekend outage
scheduled for 15/16/17th December.
Most central IT services will be unavailable from 5pm on
Friday 15th December until 8pm on Sunday 17th December.
This includes UCL email, WTS, computer cluster rooms, central
filestore and diary services amongst others. All network
services will be AT RISK.
Although the majority of the building works for the new machine
room were completed, allowing us to move services over the
summer, there is still some remedial work to be done. This
work entails shutting off the power, which is why a major
service outage is required. It is critical for resilience
as it includes completion of a monitoring and control system
for the generator. In the future full power shutdowns should
rarely be required.
THE FOLLOWING SERVICES WILL BE UNAVAILABLE FROM 5PM FRIDAY 15TH
UNTIL 8PM SUNDAY 17TH DECEMBER
- Central Electronic Mail Services
- Most UCL World Wide Web (WWW) pages - please bookmark the site
listed below for status updates when IS systems are unavailable
- WTS (Staff, Cluster and Remote Cluster services)
- All public cluster rooms including those in Halls of Residence
- All departmental IS-managed PCs
- Timesharing Services: Socrates and Plato
- Shared Central Filestore
- All DeMISt applications
- Online Directory Service
- Research Computing Central Compute Cluster (CCC)
- Central diary service
- Medline and other networked CD and ELIB services
- Library Management System and catalogues (eUCLid)
- UseNet News
- Electronic Mail to/from Departmental Mail Systems
- Central DNS and NIS Services
- All Halls of Residence study bedroom network connections
- All corporate administrative systems
- All network services
ALL THESE SERVICES WILL ALSO BE AT RISK ON MONDAY 18TH DECEMBER.
Bookmark this alternative site for status updates when IS systems
During attempts to get the heating working, D25 was hit by rogue heating water from a pipe that had not been capped in the ceiling during the D25 re-furb. Dan moved like a ferret; but the wall, carpet and desk are now a nice shade of brown. Dan's laptop is now an iBrown and his bag is not in great shape. Pictures for the insurance are here First cosmics in the ATLAS SCT Endcap C. Displayed with ATLANTIS of course.
Picture from the
Jones and Miller fest, courtesy Tony Hoare.
Ilija's poster amongst others at the House of Commons.
The new rolling grant makes it into the UCL news.
First ATLAS Muon data with the Toroidal magnetic field on (displayed with atlantis of course!). Also in the news:
Guardian, Times, Daily Mail.
You should now be able to log in again after the weekend's power outage. The mail server is currently overloaded due to the spam and virus filter dealing with the backlog of mail, so it intermittently rejects connections. It should return to normal later. Please report any remaining problems to Ben, Tony or Gianfranco.
The Council to be formed from PPARC and CCLRC has a name - the Science and Technology Facilties Council.
Malcolm Wicks takes over from Lord Sainsbury as Science Minister.
Key appointments at the new research council. Prof. Keith Mason (ex
MSSL director and current PPARC chief exec) appointed Chief Exec.
IoP half-day meeting on the first year of running at the LHC is taking
place at UCL in the afternoon of Wednesday 18th October.
The agenda for the group meeting on Friday 29 Sept is now available. Note we'll start at 14:00, not 14:30, to allow a coffee break.
The Physics Building appears to have been hit by another power glitch on the evening of Friday 29 September, causing widespread disruption again. We are working to get services back to normal.
The HEP cluster is having some
problems at the moment. I suspect the cause of this to be a power
glitch, which caused some machines to reboot and some simply to switch
Still working are: plus1, mail, www, home directories, NIS, pc72 (file
server), batch farm
Unavailable are: plus2, most desktops (but feel free to turn them on if you
are in the department)
As far as data is concerned, the following are unavailable in /unix :
nemo2 nemo3 nemo4 nemo5
The ATLAS Collaboration Trigger and Data
Acquisition workshop is being hosted by us this week.
You should be able to use desktop PCs again after the weekend power outage. Mail and web servers are OK. The farm is now working. However, the directories /cdf/data1-5 are not available.
On 24th November in the afternoon, there will be a celebration to mark
the careers of Prof. Tegid Jones and Prof. David Miller, who are
retiring. There will be a few talks (speakers so far include Prof
Albrecht Wagner, director of DESY, and Prof. George Kalmus, ex
director of the UK particle physics programme) and refreshments. All
members of the department and/or the wider physics community are very
welcome. Please contact Christine.Johnston@ucl.ac.uk if you would like
to attend so we have some idea of numbers.
The Inner Detector TRT and SCT barrel was moved to the pit from the SR building yesterday, and successfully installed in the calorimeter cryostat today, 24 August 2006 by 6pm. Pictures available highlights or all.
The batch system is working again following some problems after the security upgrade. There may be some further adjustments made later today (Wednesday) but this should not affect running jobs.
CDF discovers two new baryons increasing its new particle count to 4 - one meson (Bc), one quark (the top) and now two baryons !
See the PPARC press release.
The mail server is available again after a reboot, which was necessary in order to make some changes to avoid running out of disk space on the server.
Login and home directories
For a short time from 12:30 on Tuesday 18th July it will not be possible to log in to the Linux cluster or access home directories. This is due to a reboot of pc73 in order to solve some problems with SAMBA.
The UCL group's contribution to the ATLAS SCT recognised in a UCL news article.
The TWiki software on this server has been upgraded, please report any problems.
Batch farm back to full capacity after temperature problems.
Date, time and venue are now fixed for the 2006 particle physics 5-a-side football tournament. Please add your name here if you can represent UCL. The only requirement is you must have at least one leg.
Thanks to everyone who helped with and came to the "open day" for MSSL
staff at the Physics and Astronomy Department. Agenda.
First combined SCT+TRT data displayed with atlantis!
First cosmic tracks reconstructed in the SCT and displayed with atlantis!
The web server has been upgraded to Scientific Linux CERN 4. Please report any problems to the computing support team.
On Tuesday 04 April at 16:30 Professor Jenny Thomas will give her
inaugural lecture "First results from the MINOS". The lecture will be
in the Massey Theatre. It will be preceded by tea at 1600 in
Room E7, and followed by a wine reception at 1730-1900, also in Room
E7. Please come, and register ASAP with Christine Johnston. See
this press release and media reports.
The Guardian loves us - In praise of CERN.
We will have presentations from our first year students on Monday June 12 in A1.
The grant assessors visit went well as far as we can tell. Many thanks
to all who helped (if only by standing and waiting!) and especially
the poster producers.
The next ATLAS Trigger-DAQ workshop outside CERN will take place at UCL, in the week of September 18th. Book your place to this exotic destination!
Power has been restored to offices in the student union end of D floor after it was apparently interrupted by a student prank last night. The home directory and NIS server failed at 00:20 today, Thursday 2 March, but is now back up.
Two pictures from Dave Waters' wedding - one proving that you can dance while seated here
The ATLAS semiconductor tracker barrel has just been inserted into the transition radiation tracker at CERN. (7MB .avi movie) [needs dvx codex 3]
Jochen Weller (UCL) in news article 'Theorists claim dark energy does not exist'
The web server is now available again after the disk upgrade. Please report any problems to the computing support team.
New SSL certificates for the mail server (for imaps and https) have been generated today. Simply accept the new certificates when prompted.
The LHC and ATLAS on BBC online
The directories /cdf/data3, /cdf/data4 and /cdf/data5 have been unmounted
due to disk errors.
The SSH gateway machine plus1 may be shut down or rebooted at short notice in order to further investigate this problem. plus2 should be OK but is a less powerful machine. Please run any demanding applications on another PC after logging in via plus2.
The group one-day Christmas meeting and dinner will be on the 12th
December, probably starting at 10am. More details to follow.
Due to a power failure affecting the ground-floor machine room, most group computers were unavailable from 20:03 on Wednesday 2nd November until about lunchtime on Thursday 3rd November. If you are still experiencing problems, please contact one of the computing support team.
The agenda for Friday's general group meeting is now available here.
There will be a power outage in the Physics Building during the weekend of 1st and 2nd October. Group computing facilities will be unavailable from 16:00 on Friday 30th September until Monday 3rd October. More details here.
Squirrelmail is running again
The mail server is now available again after the upgrade to SLC3. The SquirrelMail web interface is currently not available but will be restored in the morning.
The next group meeting will be on the 30th September starting at 2pm
in the Drayton Ricardo LT, Drayton House, Gordon Street corner of
Euston Road, basement to the left.
Presentation by candidates for the HEP lectureship position will take
place on 19 Sept starting around 9:15am; all are invited. The interviews
will take place in the afternoon.
The last of the four ATLAS SCT barrels has been shipped from Oxford to CERN.
The DHCP server upgrade is now complete. Let support know if there are any problems.
Most machines should be up again after the weekend's power outage. You may turn on desktop PCs. The farm queues have been started. Report problems to Ben, Gordon, Tony or Matt.
Generated new certificate for www.hep.ucl.ac.uk as the old one expired on Friday.
UPDATE: The old printer pr2 has been removed.
The new printer pr6 is ready for use in D17.
The mail server will be unavailable from 12:00 on Thursday 8 September for an upgrade. This should take under three hours but may take longer.
The batch farm upgrade to Scientific Linux is complete. Report any problems to the software team.
New certificates have been generated for the mail server as the old
ones expired today.
Version 1.5 of the GNU Scientific
Library (GSL) is available in /usr/local.
SpamAssassin on the mailserver has been upgraded to version 2.64
Stathis has started an online catalogue of the
Spreadbury Library. ROOT version 4.0/6a has been installed in /usr/local
There is now a web form
for booking of all group bookable resources.