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Helen O'Keeffe supervises 4 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Helen O'Keeffe FHEA

Professor of Particle Physics

Helen O'Keeffe

Physics Building



Tel: +44 1524 593223

Research overview

My research focuses on particle physics, in particular measuring properties of the neutrino.  I collaborate with the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K), Hyper-Kamiokande and SNO+ experiments.   Within these experiments, my research interests include the analysis of neutral pion production in neutrino-nucleon interactions, development of Data Acquisition methods for next-generation experiments, precision measurements of radioactive backgrounds and searches for invisible modes of nucleon decay. 

In addition to my research, I organise the annual “Particle Physics Masterclass” at Lancaster, attended by approximately 180 local sixth form students.

PhD supervision

I am always interested in discussing potential PhD projects with applicants. Please see the list of thesis topics at the following webpage http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/physics/research/particle-and-accelerator-physics/experimental-particle-physics/

Current Research

T2K:  Located in Japan, T2K is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that searches for the appearance of electron neutrinos in a muon neutrino beam.  To date, the T2K experiment has produced world-leading measurements of neutrino oscillation parameters and the first suggestion of CP-violation in the neutrino sector.  Within T2K I am a convener of the overall near detector analysis programme, convener of the near detector selection development group and a Senior Data Acquisition/Electronics expert.  My research focuses on measurements of neutrino-nucleon interactions that produce neutral pions and also using measurements of muon neutrino interactions to determine the parent hadrons that produce the neutrino beam.   I also am actively involved with the operation and maintenance of the near detector Data Acquisition (DAQ) systems and electronics. 

Hyper-Kamiokande:  Hyper-Kamiokande is a proposed mega scale water Cherenkov detector that will act as the far detector for a “next-generation” long baseline neutrino experiment that will use an upgraded beam produced by the J-PARC facility in Japan.  The experiment will investigate CP violation in the neutrino sector by observation of oscillations of neutrino and antineutrino beams.  The Hyper-Kamiokande experiment will study proton decays, atmospheric neutrinos, and neutrinos from astrophysical origins.   Within the Hyper-Kamiokande collaboration, I am work package manager for the UK DAQ development, with responsibility for physics simulations relating to trigger design. 

SNO+: Located 2 km underground in an active nickel mine, near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada the SNO+ detector will use around 780 tonnes of linear alkylbenzene (LAB) liquid scintillator, loaded with tellurium, to search for neutrinoless double beta decay.  The SNO+ physics programme also includes searching for invisible modes of nucleon decay and precision measurements of the solar neutrino flux.  I am involved with measurements of radioactive backgrounds and search for invisible modes of nucleon decay.  I am a member of the SNO+ scientific board.

Current Teaching

PHYS353 Particle and Nuclear Project Laboratory

MPhys project supervisor

External Roles

STFC Particle Physics Grant Panel (Experimental) - Chair

STFC Particle Physics Grant Panel (Theory) - Member

STFC CMS upgrade oversight committee - Member

STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship Scheme - Reviewer

UK Committee on CERN - Member

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