to the home page of Dr.
This page contains links to my research,
teaching and outreach activities in the
of Physics and Astronomy of the University
It also contains a brief biography and a little information on other
interests and activities in my private life.
I am a member of the High Energy Particle Physics group of the Department
of Physics and Astronomy.
A general overview of our activities are
available on our group
My main areas of research are in the field of neutrino physics,
and the preparation for a Neutrino Factory.
I have also been an active member of previous experiments at CERN, including ALEPH and HARP.
Neutrino Factory target studies:
The ultimate machine for studying neutrino physics will be a Neutrino Factory.
This will consist of a storage ring containing large numbers of muons, with long
straight sections pointing at distant detectors.
As the muons decay, the neutrinos and antineutrinos produced will form intense
However, there are many challenges to be overcome before a Neutrino Factory can be realised.
In order to produce a large enough number of muons, a proton beam of several megawatts must strike a
For many materials, the thermal shock produced by such a beam will simply blow the target
In Sheffield, we have been studying these shocks, and trying to investigate whether a suitable
conmbination of target material and beam pulse profile will allow a target to survive.
Further details of this and other Neutrino Factory work in the UK can be found at
UK Neutrino Factory pages.
Recent work on high power targets has come under the umbrella
of PASI - Proton Accelerators for Science and Innovation.
Here we are looking at veraious aspects of targetry, including neutron production,
activation and cooling, for current and future machines including ISIS at RAL and
In the Neutrino Factory complex, protons hitting a target produce pions, which decay
to give the muons which must be collected and accelerated before being allowed to decay
in a storage ring.
However, the produced muons have a wide range of speeds and directions, and must
be "cooled" before they can be trapped and stored.
The Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment, MICE,
is an international project to test and
verify a method of cooling the muons before they have decayed away.
Sheffield's original contribution to this experiment, which is hosted at the
ISIS accelerator at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, was to build a target drive mechanism
which dips into the ISIS beam, to produce the muons to be cooled.
This has been a technically challenging project, as the drive must operate in a
high-vacuum and high radiation environment, and produce accurately controlled
movement of the target with accelerations up to 80 g.
The current target is described in a publication , and
an improved mechanism is under test.
I am currently the Chair of the MICE Collaboration Board (composed of one representative
per institute), and a member of the Executive Board of the experiment.
Members of the Sheffield group are also responible for calibration of the scintillating
fibre tracker and the design of magnetic shielding systems for the large superconducting
Further information is available from
our Sheffield MICE group's pages.
HARP was an experiment studying low energy hadron production.
This is of interest both for the design of a proposed muon collider and neutrino
factory, and in order to better understand the production of neutrinos when
high energy cosmic rays interact in the upper atmosphere.
Further details are available from the
HARP experiment web pages at CERN, and I was responsible for the
UK HARP web pages.
The (rather out of date) Sheffield HARP page
is also available.
In Sheffield, we designed and produced the target support cap, made of extremely
thin aluminium, as well as analysing the data in order to improve computer models of hadronic
ALEPH This experiment ran at LEP, the large
electron positron collider at CERN, from 1989 to 2000.
our group's contribution are summarised on the
Sheffield ALEPH page,
and further material is available from the
CERN ALEPH page.
My own research contributions were in the following areas:
I had hardware responsibility for the
electronics which provided an interface between the accelerator timing
signals and the trigger and component detectors of ALEPH.
I was a member of the ALEPH Compositeness group, looking for any evidence
that the particles (such as the electron) which we currently believe are
fundamental might really have some substructure.
A popular account
of part of this work is available in material from a talk I gave entitled
"Is the electron a Composite Particle?"
More recently, I worked within the ALEPH Supersymmetry group.
of research concentrated on looking for
unstable sleptons which decay within the body of the detector.
When combined with other searches, it helps to provide significant constraints
on the parameters of the Supersymmetry theory, within the framework of
gauge-mediated supersymmetry breaking.
As Third Year Tutor, I am responsible for the organisation of teaching for this
important year of undergraduate Physics degrees, as well as teaching two core third
year courses myself.
My lecture courses have associated material available online,
as indicated in the links below.
Other third year material, particularly for the student projects and problem solving module,
for which I am responsible, are also
I also provide tutorials in Second Year Physics, and act as an Undergraduate Advisor (Personal Tutor).
I regularly give talks on particle physics to sixth form groups in local schools, both as part of
Science Week and at other times.
Titles of my talks include:
Some Recent Publications
C.N. Booth et al. "The design, construction and performance of the MICE target", J.Inst. 8
G.P. Skoro et al. "Dynamic Young's moduli of tungsten and tantalum at high termperature and stress",
J.Nucl.Mat. 409(2011) 40-46
Science Direct link
D. Adams et al. "Characterisation of the muon beams for the Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment",
Eur.Phys.J C73 (2013) 2582
A. Ahmad, C. Booth et al. "Generic study on the design and operation of high power targets",
Phys.Rev.ST Accel.Beams 17(2) (2014) 024701
APS Physics link
D. Adey et al. "Light sterile neutrino sensitivity at the nuSTORM facility",
Phys.Rev. D89 (2014) 071301
C.N. Booth et al. "The design and performance of an improved target for MICE",
J.Inst 11 (2016) P05006
A very brief biography of my professional life is available.
Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family.
We all appreciate the out-doors, walking, camping and I am a keen bird-watcher.
I am also an active member of my local church, All
Saints' Totley, and, amongst other duties, am responsible for maintaining
its web pages.