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- Student Stories
Professor Alfons Weber
Fellow and Tutor in Physics, Rokos-Clarendon Fellow in Physics, Professor of Physics
I am the Rokos-Clarendon Fellow and Tutor in Physics and joined Pembroke in 2012 to restart Physics as an undergraduate option. Now we not only accept candidates for Physics, but also offer Physics & Philosophy. I hold a joint appointment with the University of Oxford and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell. I am a particle physicist and my research focuses on neutrinos, especially neutrino oscillations.
I am giving graduate lectures in electro-magnetism for particle detectors and in the construction principle of neutrino experiments. At the undergraduate level I have tutored all of the 1st and 2nd year syllabus as well as the 3rd year sub-atomic physics. Some of my teaching material can be found here. I am currently concentrating my teaching on the 1st year syllabus (mechanics, electro-magnetism, special relativity, circuit theory).
College & university roles and committees
I am a member of Pembroke's Governing Body and the Library Steering Committee. In the past I have served on the Academic Committee and I was the Library and Archive Fellow.
I started my career in physics doing a diploma thesis in phenomenology, looking into novel way of detecting relict neutrinos from the big bang, or solar and accelerator neutrinos. After this more theoretical start at the RWTH-Aachen, I switched to experimental physics and did my Ph.D. and first post-doc at the L3 experiment at the LEP collider at CERN. I searched for new particles (but didn't find any) and made precision measurements of the W-boson mass.
I returned to neutrinos when I came to Oxford in 1999. Neutrinos are some of the most abundant particles in the universe, but very little is known about them. There are three different types of neutrinos and, unexpectedly, they can transform themselves from one type to another. This strange behaviour, which could be different between neutrinos and their anti-matter equivalent, is what I am interested in. Neutrinos may hold the key to understanding why there is so much more matter than anti-matter in the universe and may be the very reason we are here.
I started to lead the local MINOS group, who looks into these neutrino oscillations at Fermilab, a research lab and accelerator in the US close to Chicago. We made precision measurements using muon neutrinos from the NuMI beam line. More information can be found at the Fermilab MINOS page.
Later I joined the T2K experiment in Japan, which looks for electron neutrino appearance in a muon neutrino beam. We recently found the first indication of that process, which may eventually hold the key to understand why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe. We need a new generation of experiments to really unlock the secret of the neutrino. More recently, I am the UK PI for the DUNE Experiment. It is a next generation neutrino experiment that will measure not only, if neutrinos and anti-neutrinos behalf identical, but might also study neutrino coming from a supernova exploision.
Personal Web page: www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/contacts/people/weber
Some recent publications can be found here.
Memberships & Affiliations
Physics is one of the most fundamental sciences. Studying physics is analysing nature to understand how the universe works. At Pembroke, Physics can be taken as a single honours course, or as a joint degree with Philosophy...