by Roy Lemmon. Published: 03 February 2012

During the ALICE Collaboration Board in January a new institute was admitted to ALICE: STFC Daresbury Laboratory, UK. Here, ALICE Matters talks to Roy Lemmon, the physicist within the Nuclear Physics Group at Daresbury, who will lead the involvement with ALICE.


Daresbury Laboratory is a national laboratory in the UK. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of the seven UK Research Councils. STFC is one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations, supporting scientists and engineers world-wide. It operates world-class, large-scale research facilities, provides strategic advice to the government on their development, and manages international research projects in support of a broad cross-section of the UK research community. As the UK sponsor of nuclear and particle physics, STFC manages the UK subscription to CERN.

Daresbury Laboratory

Roy Lemmon, physicist with the Nuclear Physics Group at Daresbury Laboratory

Daresbury Laboratory is located in the small village of Daresbury between Liverpool and Manchester in the north of England. The village is notable for being the birthplace of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so it is very appropriate that Daresbury Laboratory should join ALICE!

STFC’s Nuclear Physics Group is based at Daresbury Laboratory. The group’s main role is to support and contribute to the UK’s Nuclear Physics research programme. The members of the Nuclear Physics Group have expertise in a number of different specialist areas, including front end electronics, data acquisition, detector design and construction, mechanical engineering and project management. We also call on the extensive technical expertise that exists within STFC as a whole. The group is involved in the design and installation of experimental equipment in nuclear physics facilities around the world. The nuclear physicists in the group also have their own research programmes.

Initially we will be contributing to the Inner Tracking System (ITS) Upgrade. We intend to bring the expertise the UK has in Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor (MAPS) technology to ALICE and to use the extensive experience we have in the design and construction of large Si Tracker projects. We have already started Research and Development (R&D) into applying MAPS technology to the ITS Upgrade, for example addressing radiation hardness issues and possible new sensor designs, and are working closely with the ITS Upgrade Collaboration.

My personal research programme is focused on studying the properties of strongly interacting matter, its phase diagram, and transport properties. This work is done in collaboration with the Universities of Liverpool and Birmingham in the UK and, of course, many overseas institutes. Over the last few years, I have concentrated on studying isospin asymmetric nuclear matter as a function of density, temperature and isospin asymmetry using experimental observables such as collective flow in AA collisions, and quasifree scattering in pA collisions, in particular using radioactive beams at intermediate and relativistic energies at facilities such as GSI (Germany), GANIL (France), RIKEN (Japan) and NSCL-MSU (USA). Recently I have also started to investigate the properties of partonic matter at the highest energy densities achievable in the laboratory, in particular by using heavy quarks as precision probes. I am focusing on the heavy flavour physics that can be addressed using ALICE at the LHC and the new opportunities in this field that will be opened up by the proposed ITS Upgrade of ALICE.

The Daresbury group is very much looking forward to being an active member of ALICE and bringing our enthusiasm and expertise to the collaboration.

Visit their website here.