Prospective Students

Jason Lee ATLAS detector at CERN  

The Sydney Particle Physics group, which is a part of the School of Physics operates an active programme in several areas of modern high energy particle physics.

There is scope for research leading to PhD and MSc degrees in these areas. Most of these programmes involve data taken at accelerators overseas - in particular the European Centre of High Energy Physics, CERN, near Geneva and the Japanese National Laboratory, KEK, at Tsukuba. It is common for our graduate students to spend some time overseas at these laboratories, running shifts, taking data, assessing equipment in test beams and generally interacting with the international community at these centres.

We also have a Sydney-based program reducing and interpreting data from the experiments, as well as a theoretical particle physics group which looks at ways to extend current models in light of the results from the LHC and elsewhere.

Research training in Particle Physics can stand one in good stead for a variety of endeavours. To find out what some of our former students are doing, see what our alumni are up to.

Students can undertake research projects in Particle Physics in either the third or fourth years of their degree. Fourth-year studies form the research component of the B.Sc. honours or graduate diploma programs, whilst third-year studies consist of shorter special projects. We maintain a

List of Current Project Possibilities

Anyone interested in more information should contact one of the members of the group.

A more general list of our current research activities is given below. For further details, come and talk to any of the members of our group who would be delighted to fill you in with more details.

Belle/Belle II

The Belle experiment came on line at KEK in Japan in May 1999, and took around 800 million particle/antiparticle decays using the world's highest intensity colliding beam accelerator. Belle was designed to look for CP symmetry violations in the B meson sector (mesons carrying a b quark). This has direct bearing on why nature has selected a particle rather than an antiparticle universe. Now that data-taking is completed for Belle, our current involvement is in physics analysis, for example detecting rare decays involving a bottom quark turning into an up quark, purely leptonic decays where a B meson turns into a muon and neutrino, and so called Initial State Radiation (ISR) events which can be used amongst other things to search for and study new particles.

The KEKB accelerator is currently being upgraded to a much higher intensity machine, and Belle is being upgraded to Belle II, due to commence in 2019. The aim will be to collect a data set of around 50 times that of Belle, allowing searches for very rare decays of B mesons, which may provide hints of new physics in a complementary way to that of the LHC program. We will participate in preparation and running of Belle II.


This is a major long term experiment currently running at CERN. It is searching for the Higgs Boson, the postulated quantum of the field responsible for endowing everything with mass, supersymmetric particles, extra dimensions, and more. Australia has primarily been involved with the development of some of the central silicon vertex detector, test beams, and simulation of the electromagnetic calorimeter. Attention is now very much turned towards the exciting physics coming from ATLAS data.

Particle Theory