We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of our people by reading these quick-fire interviews.
Name: Seophine Stanislaus
Job title: Graduate student, Particle Physics
What are you currently working on?
I have been working as part of the LHCb collaboration. The LHCb experiment is one of the experiments
at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. It looks at different decays of particles involving a b-quark
to very precisely measure the differences between matter and antimatter in the universe. Because
observations of this in the lab are incongruent with those in the universe (which is matter-dominated), a
precise measurement of the matter-antimatter asymmetry is very important. One of the ways in which
this asymmetry can be parametrized is using the CKM γ angle.
My work involves looking at one of these decays and measuring this angle in the hopes of providing the
most precise measurement of γ yet. By measuring this angle, we can scrutinize the consistency of the
Standard Model and our current understanding of particle physics.
Describe a typical day
After hitting snooze multiple times, I’ll eventually get out of bed and start my day with cereal and a cup
of coffee. Then I’ll settle in for a few hours of lectures, meetings and classes. After that I’ll make some
lunch – steak and chips today – and catch up with friends, unfortunately remotely for now. At around 1pm
I’ll get to work on my analysis. At the moment, I’m working on some fits to try and model how signal and
background shapes change due to a particular selection cut. Getting this to work properly can be quite
fiddly and patience is very much a virtue here.
This stage of my DPhil is dedicated to lecture courses
and making progress on my analysis, but next year I’ll be able to move to CERN. There, I’ll be on-call to
fix one of the parts of the LHCb detector when it starts to misbehave. I’m really looking forward to this,
not to mention getting to live abroad for a year and a half.
I always end my day by looking back at my
to-do list and seeing what I’ve managed to get done and organising what I’ll be doing the next day. Then I’ll put everything away, go for a walk with my family and have dinner. One of the perks of working
from home is having my mum’s cooking every night.
If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
Seeing friends and eating good food.
What is your favourite place in Oxford?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to explore Oxford. But one of the places I’d love to
visit soon is the Botanic Garden.
Plan B: what would you be if you weren’t doing the job you are currently doing?
Probably teaching physics. I’ve had some great physics teachers.