UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy

Prof Jonathan Butterworth

Prof Jonathan Butterworth

Professor of Physics

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Dec 1995

Research summary

I work on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and on related particle phenomenology.

I led a UCL group which contributed to the tracking, trigger and software (2004-2008). My own work has focussed on physics processes at the LHC which will help us discover more about electroweak symmetry breaking, or basically "why some things have mass". This included searching for the Higgs boson, discovered in July 2012. I wrote some of the first papers on using the substructure of hadronic jets to identify the decays of boosted, massive particles - including the Higgs. I am now working on using precision measurements at the LHC to quantify how well the Standard Model describes nature above the energy scale of electroweak symmetry breaking, and to constrain or characterise physics beyond the Standard Model. I was convener of the ATLAS Monte Carlo group (2007-2009) and of the ATLAS Standard Model group (2010-2012) and have held various other leadership positions within the collaboration.

Until 2008 I worked on ZEUS experiment at the HERA electron proton collider at DESY in Hamburg. I made the first measurements of the photoproduction of hadronic jets. I was physics chair of the experiment in 2003-2004. I led efforts to translate HERA data to have an impact at the LHC.

I have made several contributions to theory/phenomenology and related software, including studies of multiparton interactions, parton densities, jet substructure and other aspects of QCD at colliders, as well as supersymmetry, vector boson scattering, and Higgs physics. I am an author of the widely-used Rivet analysis library and the once-widely-used JIMMY multiparton interaction simulator, and of the Contur data analysis package. See also https://gitlab.com/hepcedar

Teaching summary

Currently I am giving "Standard Model I" lectures to PhD students from UCL and other London universities, and half of "Mathematical Methods for Physics III" to second year UCL undergraduates.

From 2008 to 2011 inclusive I taught the 1st year Mathematical Methods for Physics II course.

From 1996 to 2002 inclusive I taught the UCL 4th year MSci Particle Physics course.

I have lectured at international MCnet schools on Collider Physics and Monte Carlo in Ambleside (2014), Spa (2015) Sao Paulo (2016), Hamburg (2016), Quy Nhon (2019), Zakopane (2022) and Durham (2023). 

I have lectured a several other graduate schools including BUSSTEPP (1998, 1999, 2017) the Corfu Summer Institute (2013, 2017), the 22nd Vietnam School of Physics (2016) and YETI at Durham (2019).

I have supervised numerous Masters (MSc, MSci) projects in physics and in scientific computing.


University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1992
University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1989


I grew up in Manchester, (Wright Robinson High School and Shena Simon 6th form college), then went to Oriel College, Oxford, getting a BA in physics in 1989 and a DPhil in particle physics in 1992. I moved to DESY, Hamburg, to work for Pennsylvania State University. I joined UCL in 1995. There is more information, including my blog, Life and Physics, linked from my home page.