Turn Up The Speed – It’s Particle Accelerator Week At Real Scientists! Part(icle) 5

It’s my particle and I can science if I want to! Join us for this very exciting week at Real Scientists, which will be split up among 5 wonderful researchers that are all working with one of the most fascinating machines in the world.

Our fifth and final curator this week will be Robert Appleby (@robappleby), a Reader at the University of Manchester.  His primary research is into the physics of particle accelerators, including beam dynamics and lattice design, and he is involved in the International Linear Collider and Large Hadron Collider projects; specifically in the optics, collimation and machine protection for the LHC upgrade.

He is a member of the LHCb experiment, where he’s responsible for machine induced backgrounds. Here’s Rob in his own words:


I have always enjoyed knowing how things work and why they work in this way. And this is what physics is!

I did my PhD in theoretical physics on the theory of quarks, and learnt a lot about large accelerators. When I finished I moved to the Daresbury Laboratory to calculate the motion of charged particles in accelerators, large and small.

I am an accelerator physicist, and my main research involves calculating the motion of particles (like protons) in particle accelerators and figuring out how to make better and cleverer particle accelerators. My research is broad, ranging from the very large Large Hadron Collider to the very small (ion mass spectrometers), and the very human – new accelerators to treat and image cancer.

Particle accelerators are everywhere – from airports to hospitals to big research labs, and the work we do touches pretty much everyone. What’s more pretty much everyone can understand how they work and what they do for us – that’s my goal in public engagement!

I am the spokesperson of HL-LHC-UK, the UK accelerator physics collaboration delivering our contribution to the LHC luminosity upgrade

My other passion is house music, and I’m a long time tech-house and techno dj (having moved from trance and hard house!)

How would you describe your ideal day off? A day on the beach, followed by sunset cocktails and house music.


Please welcome Robert to Real Scientists!

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