The University of Southampton

Turkish Fellowship strengthens Southampton's high energy physics research

Published: 2 December 2019
Dr Yasar Hicyilmaz

Turkish particle physicist Dr Yasar Hicyilmaz will use data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to strengthen Southampton research into high energy particle physics - the characterisation of Dark Matter (DM).

Yasar, from Balikesir University, has been awarded a year-long Fellowship by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), which supports promising Turkish scientists by funding international research collaborations.

He will spend one year within the Southampton High Energy Physics (SHEP) research group and the New Connections between Experiment and Theory (NExT) Institute, working alongside Southampton’s Professor Stefano Moretti who is a member of SHEP and Director of the NExT Institute.

SHEP studies the most elementary constituents of matter, the basic forces by which they interact, and their role in the early Universe to present days. NExT brings together theorists and experimentalists in the process of new physics discovery.

Yasar’s Fellowship research will build on his previous work in searching for ways to discover DM at colliders. He will now use data from the LHC at CERN to explore the characterisation of DM through the theory of Supersymmetry – a supposed symmetry of nature where all elementary particles have a related superparticle with half a spin less, so that bosons and fermions are one and the same.

He said: “I am very excited about gaining this Fellowship as it will allow me to visit a top 100 worldwide University and work within the NExT Institute - a centre of research excellence in the UK. I am hoping that this will enable me to establish ties for the future.

“It will be a big chance for me to improve my knowledge and experience in a scientifically active environment. NExT has a large number of both theoretical and experimental research groups in particle physics, and interacting with these experimentalists will be a great opportunity to learn the processes of data analyses at the LHC and other experiments.

“I am also hoping to benefit from, and gain a deep learning from, the experience of Southampton Physics and Astronomy scientists who work in DM detection collaborations.”

TUBITAK aims to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers, and has awarded Yasar the Fellowship for a year.

Stefano added: “I am delighted that TUBITAK funding will seed a new collaboration between the UK and Turkey that brings together theorists and experimentalists in the process of new physics discovery.

“The work with Yasar will explore the potential of the LHC at CERN to discover DM. This Fellowship is extremely timely as we are at a cross-roads in high energy particle physics with the LHC experiments currently in the crucial position of being able to confirm or disprove Supersymmetry.

“The rapid and accurate interpretation of this data will point the way to a higher level of understanding of the fundamental interactions of matter and forces, as well as possibly paving the way towards an underlying grand unified theory.”

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