Dr Andy Buckley

Senior Lecturer in particle physics

I'm a particle physicist in the PPE group in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.

Research

Most of my research work is on experimental studies with the ATLAS experiment, part of the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN lab in Geneva. I also work with theorists on modelling of hadron collisions, and on ways of constraining the prospective models of new physics that they come up with.

On the experimental side of my professional split personality, I'm principally interested in measuring QCD (the nuclear strong force) in both its perturbative and non-perturbative regimes: in particular I have been involved in several measurements of the "underlying event" at LHC, and am interested in how heavy flavour (charm and bottom quarks) is produced at hadron colliders. The long goal is to apply as much as possible of we know about features of QCD jets — i.e. the dynamics of the QCD theory — to find (or, more likely, exclude) evidence for new particles.

"Experimentalist" is a vague term in particle physics and I spend much of my time working on simulation for hadron collider physics, particularly the fundamental physics of the particle collision and how it evolves into what we see in detector experiments. The Rivet analysis framework, Professor fitting tool, and various ATLAS MC generator "tunes" are the most obvious examples of my work in that area, and once upon a time I was convener of ATLAS' MC generator working group. I also have one foot in the parton density fitting community through work on the LHAPDF library.

A more recent direction in my research is Beyond Standard Model phenomenology, where I enjoy systematically demolishing the work of theorists. I do this, with various collaborators, by comparing their models to many independent (and maybe some correlated...) collider physics measurements and applying a mix of modelling and machine learning techniques — cf. GAMBIT, Contur, and TopFitter.

Teaching

Physics courses I teach are listed below. I have also led working groups on re-development of computational physics and maths & statistics teaching in the School, am Glasgow PI of the ScotDIST centre for doctoral training in data-intensive science, and am deputy convener of the Glasgow Physics & Astronomy taught-MSc programmes.

Current courses

Previous courses

Supervision

I supervise PhD students in particle physics experiment and phenomenology, and MSci/BSc research projects in the same. Here are documents I've written as guides to aspects of the supervision and thesis-writing process:

Outreach

I'm very happy to talk about my work or any aspect of particle physics, at outreach events or to the media (maybe). I'm a registered UK STEM Ambassador, am DBS/CRB/Disclosure Scotland certified, and don't bite.