My lifetime research program in particle physics involved the establishment and subsequent testing of the Standard Model of Particle Physics that forms our description of nature at its most fundamental, quantum, level. To date I have been a leader in four major advances in my field - the discovery of neutral currents, the first observation of charm particle production, the discovery that there are three types of light neutrino, and, the discovery of the Higgs boson. This body of work was key to establishing the Standard Model as the predominant theory of matter.
My emphasis today is as part of the worldwide effort to reveal the theory that will supersede the Standard Model, by searching for new physics at the high-energy frontier. In this arena I was a founding member of two major experiments - OPAL (1989) and ATLAS (1992) - at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) and have led three other international particle physics experiments. For example, in 1987 I became the youngest ever leader of an international CERN collider experiment, MODAL , searching for physics beyond the Standard Model. I am now leading the international MoEDAL experiment that started data taking at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2015.
At the cosmic frontier I co-led from (1998-2010) the SLIM experiment that was conducted at the world’s highest altitude laboratory on Mt Chacaltya in Bolivia; and I have proposed a new detector array for the IceCube experiment in Antarctica, a prototype of which is currently under test. Also, I am currently leading the planning stage for a very large area (40,000 sqm) experiment called Cosmic-MoEDAL to be deployed at high altitude on Tenerife in the Canarie Islands to search for remnants from the birth of the universe. My work at the cosmic frontier is now an important part of my research program to study nature at the highest energies, only ever seen before at the birth of the universe a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, leading to profound insights into the nature of the early universe.
TEN MOST IMPORTANT PAPERS
Discovery Papers (3)
- 2012 - Discovery of the Higgs Boson: G. Add, J. L. Pinfold et al., “Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC”. ATLAS Collaboration, Physics Letters B716 (2012) 1-29. Cited by 5574 papers. I was a founding member of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN Switzerland and made several leading contributions to the ATLAS detector and to the assessment of its physics performance. The particle we have discovered is the Higgs boson. The Higgs field, of which the Higgs boson is the quantum, is responsible for the generation of mass in the universe just after the Big Bang. The discovery of the Higgs ranks in importance with that of the electron. Peter Higgs received a Nobel prize in 2013 as a result of this discovery.
- 2006 - The Discovery that there are only 3 Light Neutrinos: M. Akrawy, J. Pinfold et al. “Precision Electroweak Measurements on the Z Resonance”, ALEPH, DELPHI, L3, OPAL, SLD Electroweak Working Groups. Phys. Rept. 427 (2006) 530. Cited by 1323 papers. I was a founding and leading member of the OPAL experiment. I made key contributions to 3 of OPAL’s main detector systems and led several analysis efforts testing the Standard Model. The importance of this discovery was as a key confirmation of the generational structure of the Standard Model that has crucial implications for particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.
- 1973 - Discovery of Neutral Currents: F. J. Hasert, J. L. Pinfold et al., Gargamelle Collaboration, “Search For Elastic Muon-neutrino Electron Scattering”, Physics Letters B46 (1973) 121-124. Cited by 753 papers. As a PhD student at University College London I was a leading member of the small research team - part of CERN’s Gargamelle experiment - that discovered the neutral current process, the first hard evidence for the unification of the electromagnetic and weak fundamental forces - a central pillar of the Standard Model. The death of the leader of the experiment just after this discovery precluded the Noble Prize expected for this experiment
First Observations (2)
- First Observation of Exclusive Production at a Hadron Collider: T. Aaltonen, J. L. Pinfold et al., "Observation of exclusive charmonium production and γ+γ to μ+μ− in pp¯ collisions at s√=1.96 TeV", CDF Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 (2009). Cited 199 times. I co-led a small team that observed for the first time at a hadron collider the presence of exclusive interactions i.e. interactions where the interaction protons remain intact. These observations where used to test the predictions of various theoretical approaches describing this phenomena. As a result the predictions of the Durham Group in the UK were recognized as the most predictive thus affirming their estimates of excluisve production of the Standard Model Higgs boson.
- First Observation of a Charmed Particle(?): H. Deden, J. L. Pinfold et al., Gargamelle Collaboration, "Strange Particle Production and Charmed Particle Search in the Gargamelle Neutrino Experiment", Phys.Lett. 58B (1975) 361-366. Cited 139 times. This is arguably the first observation of a charmed particle. As a graduate student I was the leader of the analysis effort at UCL that uncovered this single candidate albeit with low background level.
Experiments Founded (3)
- 2009 - Technical Design Report of the MoEDAL Experiment at the LHC, J. L. Pinfold, The MoEDAL Collaboration Jun 8, 2009. 76 pp. CERN-LHCC-2009-006, MoEDAL-TDR-00. Cited 97 times. In 2010 the MoEDAL experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was unanimously approved by CERN's Research Board to start data taking in 2015. The MoEDAL Collaboration consists of some 65 physicists from 26 institutes from around the world. MoEDAL is a pioneering experiment designed to search for highly ionizing avatars of new physics such as magnetic monopoles or massive (pseudo-)stable charged particles. Its groundbreaking physics program defines over 30 scenarios that yield potentially revolutionary insights into such foundational questions as: are there extra dimensions or new symmetries; what is the mechanism for the generation of mass; does magnetic charge exist; what is the nature of dark matter; and, how did the big-bang develop. MoEDAL's purpose is to meet such far-reaching challenges at the frontier of the field.The innovative MoEDAL detector employs unconventional methodologies tuned to the prospect of discovery physics. The largely passive MoEDAL detector, deployed at Point 8 on the LHC ring, has a dual nature. First, it acts like a giant camera, comprised of nuclear track detectors - analyzed offline by ultra fast scanning microscopes - sensitive only to new physics. Second, it is uniquely able to trap the particle messengers of physics beyond the Standard Model for further study. MoEDAL's radiation environment is monitored by a state-of-the-art real-time TimePix pixel detector array. I proposed, design and led the construction of the MoEDAL detector and I am now the spokesperson for MoEDAL.
- 2008 - The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, G. Aad, J. L. Pinfold et al., ATLAS Collaboration, JINST 3 (2008) S08003 DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/3/08/S08003. Cited 5483 times. The experiment is designed to take advantage of the unprecedented energy available at the LHC and observe phenomena that involve highly massive particles which were not observable using earlier lower-energy accelerators. It is hoped that it will shed light on new theories of particle physics beyond the Standard Model. It was one of the two LHC experiments involved in the discovery of the Higgs boson in July 2012. I played a leading role in the construction of the ATLAS detector and in the assessment of its physics capabilities. In particular: leading the construction of the ATLAS hadronic endcap calorimeter; taking an important part of the design and prototyping of the high level trigger farms for ATLAS; leading the project to design, construct and install the ATLAS luminosity monitor (LUCID); as a deputy leader of the ATLAS Forward Protons (AF) project currently installing forward spectrometers to perform measuremenst of wto photon and diffractive physics.
- 1991 - The OPAL Detector at LEP, K Ahmet, J. L. Pinfold et al., OPAL Collaboration, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A305 (1991) 275-319 CERN-PPE-90-114 DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(91) 90547-4. Cited 766 times. OPAL was one of the major experiments at CERN's LEP. OPAL studied particles and their interactions by collecting and analysing electron-positron collision events at LEP, the Large Electron-Positron collider. LEP was the largest particle accelerator in the world. In Phase 1 ( 1989-1995) OPAL accumulated millions of these Z events for high-precision measurements. In LEP's second phase from 1996 to 2000, the collider's collision energy was increased to make pairs of W bosons, and to search for possible new particles and new physics. I was a founding member of the OPAL experiment and led the Alberta group into the experiment in 1992. I played a major role in the construction of the OPAL detector and in the analysis of OPAL results. In particular, I: played an major role in the design, testing and installation of the OPAL vertex chamber; co- led the installation of the OPAL Tile Endcap trigger detector; lead the design, construction and installation of the OPAL highly-ionizing particle detector and trigger; and, led the project to design, construct and install the precision voltage supply and control for the OPAL silicon vertex detector.
Advancing the Standard Model
2003 - Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson at LEP: R. Barate, J. L. Pinfold et al., LEP (Large Electron Positron collider at CERN in Switzerland) Working Group for Higgs Boson Searches, ALEPH, DELPHI, L3 and OPAL, Phys. Lett. B565 (2003) 61-75. Cited 2306 times. I was a founding and leading member of the OPAL experiment. I made key contributions to three of OPAL’s detector systems and led several analysis efforts including that of the Higgs boson search using neural networks. The importance of this search is that when combined with the precision measurements of the Standard Model made by OPAL, it defined the search region for the Higgs boson subsequently discovered at the LHC.
1990 - Defining the Properties of the Heavy Quark Sector of the Standard Model: J. C Anjos, J. L. Pinfold et al., E691 Collaboration, Measurement of the Form factors in the Decay D+ -->anti-K*0+ positron + electron neutrino”, Phys. Rev. Lett., 65 (1990) 2630. Cited 250 times. As a young RA on the E691 Experiment at Fermilab in the USA. I made major contributions to the design, setup, running and analysis of the E691 experiment that made major contributions to our understanding of the 2nd generation of quarks of the Standard Model. This paper was extremely useful in the determination of a key element of the Standard Model’s quark sector.