Dave Charlton is currently Deputy Spokesperson of the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, until 2013. ATLAS is a global collaboration of some 3000 scientists. The Spokesperson is the scientific head of the collaboration, and has two deputies. Prior to becoming Deputy Spokesperson, Dave was Physics Coordinator of ATLAS, in the run-up to the start of collision data-taking.
Dave's research is focused on experimental tests of the mechanisms of electroweak symmetry breaking, hypothesised to be via the so-called Higgs mechanism. These studies should lead to the discovery of new physics – perhaps the much-anticipated Higgs boson – at the LHC during this decade.
He worked previously on the OPAL experiment at the LEP collider at CERN, and on the construction of detector and trigger systems of ATLAS.
Dave Charlton obtained his PhD on the UA1 experiment with the Birmingham team, searching for production of the top quark in proton-antiproton collisions on the CERN SppS collider. He then spent twelve years investigating a range of topics related to the physics of Z and W bosons at the CERN LEP collider with the OPAL Collaboration, first working for CERN then returning to Birmingham. During this time he was first Trigger, then Physics Coordinator of the international OPAL Collaboration of around 350 physicists.
After the year 2000, when LEP finally stopped, Dave has worked on the construction of readout hybrid circuits of detector modules for the ATLAS particle tracking detectors, and then on the trigger systems, where he led the work of the six-institute (UK, Germany, Sweden) first-level calorimeter trigger collaboration. In 2007 he became Deputy Physics Coordinator of the entire ATLAS Collaboration, then Physics Coordinator in 2008. Since 2009 he has been Deputy Spokesperson of the Collaboration, at a very exciting time as the first proton-proton collisions have been taken at a new energy frontier, and now very sizable samples are being collected with substantial potential for discovery of new physics.
Dave conceived and led a Y3 design group studies for several years, and also introduced and taught a Y4 module “Current Topics in Particle Physics”. While Physics Coordinator and Deputy Spokesperson of ATLAS his teaching is temporarily in abeyance, although he looks forward to returning to teaching in 2013.