I live here on Earth, much as you do I expect, and I’m down by the sea in Brighton with my wife and 2 young children. Between chasing them around to limit the chaos and searching for dark matter, I spend a lot of time reading or in meditation.
Other than physics and trying to understand the fundamental nature of the Universe, I spend a lot of time doing research around climate change and mitigation as well as energy systems.
Dark matter makes up 85% of the mass of the Universe, but we have no idea what it is! I work on experiments that put large, extremely sensitive detectors deep underground to search for dark matter interactions and direct evidence for its existence and clues about what it is. The experiment I’m working on presently is called LZ – you can find out more about it here: https://www.hep.ucl.ac.uk/darkMatter/
My Typical Day:
I spend my mornings catching up on communications from colleagues in the US, because that’s where the experiment I work on is located (in an old gold mine in South Dakota). After lunch it’s usually time for a bunch of meetings, if I’m not teaching that day, with my team at UCL working on LZ, quantum technologies and a bunch of other things (we are a busy team!). In between, all of that I try to do some physics – that usually means playing with computer code.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I tend not to think about things that haven’t yet, so I don’t know what I would spend the money on other than (most likely) supporting one of the many ideas my PhD students have for innovative public engagement.
Sir Joseph Williamsons Mathematical School
MSci degree at Queen Mary University of London (Astrophysics)
PhD at University of Edinburgh (Physics)
After my PhD I was a post doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh for 5 years, then went to live in the US working at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) before returning to UCL (University College London) as a lecturer.
Professor of physics
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
dark matter hunter
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea
Were you ever in trouble at school?
All the time, but rarely punished because I kept my grades high!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
The ability to fly; greater flexibility; and the ability to go into deep sleep in any position.
Tell us a joke.
Our government's climate action