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Who am I?

 

 

I’m a post-doc member of the research staff of the Particle Physics group.

I joined the group in 1984 as a summer student, and after a happy summer of detector building decided to stay on for a PhD, and have been here ever since....

 

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What do I do?

 

I spend most of my time working on readout and trigger systems for Particle Physics experiments.

 

Our experiments use very specialised detector technologies to record subatomic particles arising from high energy collisions, cosmic ray interactions, radioactive decays etc. At Manchester we have experience with many types of detector,

but pretty much all detectors end up producing a (usually small) electrical signal that needs to be collected, buffered, processed and recorded for later analysis.

It’s also important to know when something interesting has happened, and to select interesting interactions (ie physics) out of the total spectrum.

This requires a ‘trigger’ which takes a very quick look at part of the data to identify the signature of interesting interactions.

 

I’ve worked on readout systems from the very front end amplifiers and digitisation circuits, through to processor or FPGA based data handling systems (buffering, collecting, compressing etc.) and analysis software running on large general purpose computing ‘farms’ offline (ie after the data has been collected).

I’ve also worked on the specialist electronics needed to implement trigger systems.

I can design electronics from scratch (PCBs, schematic, layout, all the way to manufacture), program all manner of processors in a variety of languages, write firmware for programmable logic (FPGAs etc.) We have an excellent collection of software and hardware tools to support this work; the best CAD/CAM, state of the art CNC machining, BGA assembly and inspection, and I work closely with our electronics technician Mike Perry to ensure these facilities are second to none.

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