The University of Birmingham is working with partners at Jammu University on particle physics experiments, including those at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research – CERN.

The project focuses on analysing collision data and the real-time selection or 'triggering' of the most interesting events from amongst very large backgrounds using state-of-the-art fast electronics. The researchers will analyse collisions between pairs of lead ions in the ALICE experiment at the LHC recreating the particle densities and temperatures which existed a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. In addition, they are aiming to make improvements to the ALICE trigger capability, in preparation for the next, higher intensity, phase of the running of the LHC. 

A further key area of focus for the collaboration will be the development of an optimised trigger for the new NA62 fixed target experiment, which will study very rare effects involving strange quarks which are highly sensitive to new physics.

This work will build on previous successful collaboration between University of Birmingham physicists and Professor Anju Bhasin from Jammu University, and her group, in the context of ALICE and earlier heavy ion collision experiments. It will widen the connections to NA62 which has no previous Indian involvement and will extend the ALICE work into the period of LHC operation where discoveries of previously unknown physics are to be expected.

Professor Paul Newman, Professor of Particle Physics, at the University of Birmingham, said: “We are delighted by this opportunity to build further on our collaboration with our Indian colleagues in Jammu. On top of all the recent talk surrounding the Higgs Boson question, this is such an exciting time for all of us involved in high energy physics at CERN.”

The project is funded by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) as part of the Innovation Partnerships strand. This initiative aims to provide opportunities for UK and Indian universities and institutions to collaborate on thematic partnerships to enhance the innovation capacity of both India and the UK.  It promotes partnerships between higher education institutions which focus on innovation and new areas of development in research, in areas relevant to both countries.

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