Giles Barr

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Giles Barr

Professor of Physics

Prof. Giles Barr is interested in the properties of neutrinos, the most antisocial of the sub-atomic particles. Unlike the particles which make up all the material around us, which are stuck together with the electromagnetic force, neutrinos only experience the weak force and as a consequence hardly ever affect anything around them at all. They have the very intruiging property of oscillation i.e. as they move along, they change their properties and then change them back again - oscillation is a difficult thing to picture, but can be explained by using quantum mechanics.

Due to their antisocial, elusive nature, neutrinos are difficult particles to detect and so doing experiments with them is challenging. Prof. Barr is involved in two of the long baseline experiments in the world: DUNE, a future experiment in which neutrinos will be generated at Fermilab travel 1300 km under the ground to their detection point at Lead in South Dakota; and the currently-running T2K where the neutrinos are made at the JPARC accelerator complex in Tokai, on the Eastern coast of Japan and travel 295 km to SuperKamiokande in the Japanese mountains.