STFC Advanced Fellow
antonin [dot] vacheret [at] physics [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk
I am currently holding an Advanced STFC Fellowship (now Rutherford Fellowship) to work on the T2K experiment and the MARS technology project.
I did my Ph. D. at CEA-IRFU/SPhN at Saclay, France on E-158 at SLAC: A Parity Violation experiment to probe new physics at the TeV scale.
I then moved to neutrino Physics early 2005 on the T2K experiment as a research associate in the High Energy Physics group at Imperial College London. I joined the Oxford Particle Physics group in September 2011.
My main area of research is the physics of neutrinos. In particular the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation. I am working on the long baseline neutrino experiment T2K at Tokai in Japan, to study neutrino interactions that produces neutral pions. This work helps to measure the oscillation parameters more precisely.
Oscillation is a process allowed by quantum mechanics which enables a particle flavour state to be a superposition of mass states. In the classification of fundamental particles also called the Standard Model, the neutrino come in three flavour and each one is associated with a partner : the electron (for the ) , the muon () and the tau particle ()
It was found in the late 1980-90's, after decades of measurements, that neutrinos from the Sun where indeed oscillating from one flavour to another. Confirmation from reactor and atmospheric neutrinos followed, establishing neutrino oscillation. A surprising result since neutrino are considered massless in the Standard Model: oscillation can only take place if neutrino have a non-zero mass. The current generation of experiments are pushing further the study of these parameters which may be linked to the fundamental question of matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe.
my second axis of research is the MARS technology project to develop next generation scintillator detector systems for applications in science and in the industry.
The recent shortage of Helium-3 prompted a rich program of development for alternative neutron detectors used in various sectors like security, radioprotection or large neutron science instruments. The MARS technology aims to provide a high performance and cost-effective alternative to the Helium-3 based instruments. Novel anti-neutrino detection methods are also pursued and this aspect of the work is the basis of a proposition for a new experiment called SoLid to search for short distance neutrino oscillation.
I am giving sub-atomic physics tutorials to the 3rd years at Univ College.