Ph.D Research on Electron-Proton Scattering with the Birmingham Group

Note: we are not currently offering PhD studentships in this area, but hope to have opportunities on the related LHeC project in the future

Active Staff: Paul Newman, Paul Thompson

H1 event

An H1 event where the electron is scattered thrrough a large angle, probing deeply inside the proton

HERA, at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, was the world's only ever electron-proton collider, operating from 1992-2007. The 30 GeV electrons and 920 GeV protons resulted in a centre-of-mass energy in excess of 300 GeV, offering sensitivity to structure on scales as small as 10-18m, and making HERA effectively the world's most powerful microscope. Throughout the lifetime of HERA, the Birmingham group participated in a large international experiment, H1. Our H1 group was involved in the construction and operation of the forward muon detector and trigger and an upgrade of the tracking trigger. We were at the forefront of the data analysis effort, leading to large numbers of publications on searches for new exotic states of matter, proton structure measurements and tests of our understanding of the gauge theory of the strong interaction, quantum chromodynamics (QCD). The work of the group has led to 15 Ph.D. theses. We retain an involvement in the analysis of the final H1 data set.

With a view to the future, the group is playing a leading role in evaluating possible future electron-proton colliders, in particular, the LHeC. This is a proposed facility at CERN, which would exploit the new world of energy and intensity provided by the 7 TeV LHC proton or heavy ion beam, in collisions with a new electron beam. A nominal electron energy of 50 GeV results in an unprecedented kinematic range, the centre of mass energy being 4 times larger than that of HERA. The luminosity of over 1033 cm-2s-1 is a full two orders of magnitude beyond that of HERA. These features make the LHeC uniquely sensitive to the direct single production of massive new electron-quark bound states and allows the parton densities of the proton to be measured at previously unexplored momentum transfers and small fractional momenta (Bjorken x below 10-6), where the densities of quarks and gluons become exceptionally large.

There are limited opportunities for interested Ph.D. students to work on the H1 and LHeC projects. Please contact us for more details.

Further information about H1 and the LHeC