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UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Prof David Waters

Prof David Waters

Professor of Physics

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2001

Research summary

I graduated with a BA in Physics & Philosophy from Hertford College, Oxford in 1994 and continued as a D.Phil student at Wolfson College from 1994 to 1998. During that time I spent a year at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, where I analysed data from the ZEUS experiment at the electron-proton collider HERA. I remained at Oxford as a post-doc, supported by a PPARC post-doctoral reesearch fellowship and a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College. During that time my research interests shifted to a new project, the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF), based at Fermilab outside Chicago. In 2001 I moved to UCL as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. Having spent a considerable amount of time in the US, I am now based permanently at UCL.

My research interests lie at the energy and precision frontiers of particle physics. At ZEUS I found early evidence for a very rare process - the production of real W bosons, responsible for the weak nuclear force. CDF was operating at the highest energy collider before the advent of the LHC and I focused there on electroweak physics, including the world's most accurate measurements of the mass and lifetime of the W boson. These enduring precision measurements serve to test the Standard Model of particle physics and constrain new physics at high energy scales.

Another area of my research involves the study of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, the highest energy particles known in nature. I have performed R&D into new detection techniques for cosmic rays neutrinos and continue to investigate the sources and properties of these remarkable and still poorly understood particles.

Since 2009 I have been heavily involved in the neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment SuperNEMO. Neutrinoless double-beta decay is one of the most promising ways of addressing fundamental puzzles in neutrino physics : are neutrinos their own anti-particles, and what is the pattern of neutrino masses ? SuperNEMO is taking a unique and potentially very powerful approach to searching for these extremely rare nuclear decays. The UK is busy building the tracking detector for the SuperNEMO Demonstrator Module, with UCL and MSSL playing leading roles. I am currently leading the UK SuperNEMO project.

Teaching summary

I am interested in supervising both undergraduate projects and post- graduate students in my area of research

Education

University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1998
Publications