Oceans, teeth and particles

The Cosmic Shambles network continues producing excellent content through the COVID crisis, and I was happy to feature on their Sunday Science Q&A last week with Robin and Helen, and Brenna Hassett as the other guest. The recording is below.

Today there is another edition featuring the astrophysicists Katie Mack and Jen Gupta, link to the live feed is below below…

Continue reading

Posted in History, Particle Physics, Physics, Science | Tagged , , , ,

Vector-like Quarks

My colleagues and I have a new paper on the arXiv today on New sensitivity of current LHC measurements to vector-like quarks.

Vector-like quarks are hypothetical  particles that appear in some extensions of the Standard Model. Such extensions are continually being proposed to try to improve the Standard Model, to allow it to describe nature in a more complete or theoretically-pleasing way.

Continue reading

Posted in Particle Physics, Philosophy, Physics, Science | Tagged , , , , , ,

Oriel and Rhodes

I spent six years at Oriel College, Oxford. I learned a lot of physics, from some exceptional tutors and an exceptional tutorial partner. I also had a lot of fun, made a lot of very good friends (one of whom I am married to) and was educated in life in ways I could not have anticipated before I went to University. What I didn’t learn was anything about Cecil Rhodes.

That’s despite the presence of the now famous statue, and the fact that some of said friends lived in the Rhodes Building. So much for the educational value of monuments.

Continue reading

Posted in Education, History, Politics | Tagged , ,


I’ve been smelling a familiar smell recently, a dangerous and unpleasant smell that I sort of recognised but couldn’t quite place. An email from from the organisation I work for has finally jogged my memory, and I recognise it.

The email contained polite, measured lines to the effect “Whatever the government may or may not be saying at the time you read this, please don’t come back to work this week, if for no other reason than the fact that a big change like that takes time to prepare for.” 

Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , ,