LUXE: COMBINING HIGH ENERGY AND INTENSITY TO SPARK THE VACUUM

Dr Tom Heinzl, Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Physics, School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (SECaM) has published an invited article in Europhysics News, the magazine of the European Physical Society, together with two colleagues from Germany. To access the article, please follow this link: https://epn.eps.org/epn-51-4/#16.

The article describes the planned LUXE experiment at the DESY facility (Hamburg, Germany), which will collide the electron beam of the European X-ray Free Electron Laser with that of an intense optical laser. LUXE is an international team effort involving physicists from Germany, Israel and the UK (UCL, QUB, Plymouth, Royal Holloway). Tom and collaborators from SECaM are responsible for the theoretical input guiding the experiment. Its purpose is to understand the physics of laser-matter interactions at high energies and intensities by probing it in an ‘extreme’, but controlled, lab environment. A particular goal will be to produce anti-matter (positrons) through the direct collision of photons, the quantum particles of light.   

Figure 1: Tom Heinzl



Award of computer time

Craig McNeile has been awarded 2.88 Mcore hours on the DIRAC COSMA6 supercomputer at the University of Durham. This award was under DIRAC Directors Discretionary Award. Dirac provides distributed high performance computing resources.

The title of the project is: Including full QED in the calculation of the leading hadronic contributions to the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon.

This is part of a larger project to compute the hadronic corrections to the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon,  done in collaboration with the HPQCD, MILC and FNAL lattice QCD collaborations.

Final year mathematics and statistics student awarded an NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship

Our final year student Joanna Hutchings, BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics, has been awarded a prestigious three-year National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) pre-doctoral fellowship.

In the summer between her second and third year, Joanna secured a placement with the Multiple Sclerosis and Health Measurement Research Team at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, where she experienced the important role that medical statistics has in improving health outcomes. She did her individual  project module in her final year to investigate to what extent patient characteristics and clinical variables influence how multiple sclerosis progresses.

The NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship will support her to carry out an MSc in Statistics, as well as conduct research on advancing methods for patient-reported outcome measures in clinical trials.

EXALAT – Lattice Field Theory at the Exascale

Anyone involved in High Performance Computing (HPC) always wants much access to ever bigger computers, so that more realistic calculations can be run. The current goal of the HPC immunity is to build exascale computers.

Next week there is virtual meeting to review the needs of the lattice field theory community in the UK in the era of Exascale computing. One of the organizers of the meeting is Antonio Rago from CMS. Vincent Drach is presenting one the review talks at the meeting. Prof Deborah Greaves, the head of our school is also presenting a talk.


Research software engineer to work on a Particle Physics simulation code.

CMS has an open position for a research software engineer to work on a Particle Physics simulation code. The position is specifically for software development and no Physics knowledge is required, while an interest in coding is clearly a plus.

Below is the link to the advert, note that it has a rather close deadline for the application:https://hrservices.plymouth.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=545075GxbG&WVID=1602750fTZ&LANG=USA

R0 and Herd Immunity

Dr Anton Ilderton, from the Centre of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Plymouth, has produced a podcast on modelling infectious diseases using ordinary differential equations. He uses the mathematics taught on the first two years of our degrees to discuss this important and topical subject.