CoEPP - Adelaide node

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP) at the University of Adelaide undertakes research in both experimental and theoretical physics.

We're participating in the search for evidence of new physics Beyond the Standard Model (BSM). We're also involved in the development of new theories that extend the Standard Model of physics. 

Working with physicists from across Australia and in partnership with key international researchers and institutions, we are key partners in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics.


The Standard Model and Beyond: The University of Adelaide is playing a leading role in understanding the fundamental physics that will tell us how the universe fits together.

Our research

Research carried out at the Adelaide node of CoEPP focuses on understanding physics at modern collider experiments and searching for new fundamental physical laws.

Our researchers are also involved in the development and operation of computing resources for particle physics research.

Seminars and events

Research strengths

  • Supersymmetry


    Supersymmetry (SUSY) is an extension of the SM in which every SM fermion has a boson partner, and every SM boson has a fermion partner.

    SUSY has a number of distinct advantages over the SM, including a better unification of the SM forces at the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) scale and an absence of the extremely large quantum corrections to the Higgs mass that occur in the SM.

    Since SUSY is not observed at low energies, then SUSY must be broken, but in order to avoid so-called fine-tuning and naturalness problems with SUSY it is expected to be broken near the tera-electron volt (TeV) scale. If so, then SUSY should be within the reach of the LHC or possibly its successor.

    Experimental searches for SUSY continue at the LHC with both the ATLAS and CMS detectors, and Adelaide contributes to this with our involvement in ATLAS. No SUSY particles have yet been observed, and the simplest SUSY models (for example the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model or MSSM) are beginning to experience some tension with experiment.

    The theory group is actively involved in studying extensions of the MSSM and in studying fine-tuning of these extensions in order that they be consistent with current experimental constraints.

  • Dark matter searches and particle astrophysics

    Dark matter searches and particle astrophysics

    One of the most important unsolved problems in current physics is the nature of the dark matter that apparently fills much of the universe. We are co-leading an international effort to combine all relevant astrophysical and particle physics data in order to understand the particle physics of dark matter.

    Uni of Adelaide physicists are going a kilometre underground to look for elusive dark-matter particles. Courtesy Swinburne University

    Image courtesy Swinburne University

    Current projects include the development of quantum field theories for explaining dark matter observations, and using measurements coming from direct search experiments, gamma ray astronomy and the LHC to understand which current models are viable.

    CoEPP also is involved in the development of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL), where various experiments will be located including the southern installation of the SABRE dark matter-detection experiments.

    CoE for Dark Matter Particle Physics

  • Other 'Beyond the Standard Model' theories

    Other 'Beyond the Standard Model' theories

    There are alternative approaches to extend the Standard Model other than through SUSY, which include:

    • Grand Unified Theories;
    • extra-dimensional models such as Randall-Sundrum type models; and
    • Composite Higgs models of various types, such as Technicolour (that is essentially ruled out already), Little Higgs models and models where the Higgs is a pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone boson.
  • Testing the Standard Model

    Testing the Standard Model

    The Standard Model is correct until it fails a test - any test. In addition to the direct tests at the LHC there are a number of very subtle, high-precision processes that can be probed at lower energy.

    We are particularly interested in the search for new physics in parity-violating electron scattering, and a number of anomalies surrounding the muon, its interactions and properties.

  • Quantum chromodynamics at high-energy colliders

    Quantum chromodynamics at high-energy colliders

    The collisions at the LHC provide a precise laboratory for testing our understanding of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), from subtle flavour dependence to nuclear effects in proton-lead and lead-lead collisions that promise new insights into the role of quarks and gluons in nuclear structure.

  • Collider searchers for beyond the Standard Model physics

    Collider searchers for beyond the Standard Model physics

    We lead searches for BSM physics using the presence of third-generation Standard Model particles as a probe.

    Data collected with the ATLAS experiment are interrogated using kinematic techniques developed by our group to search for evidence of squarks and gluinos decaying to produce tau leptons, or direct production of the top and bottom squarks yielding final states enriched in b-jets, charged leptons and missing transverse momentum.

    We perform analyses of the data collected with ATLAS, study the environment in which physics will occur during the phase-I (2019-) and phase-II (2023-) upgrades and develop tools useful to our collaborators.

    The data are further used to search for evidence of long-lived particle signatures which yield slow-moving particles and displaced vertices in the detector.

  • Flavour physics experiments

    Flavour physics experiments

    As members of the Belle II experiment, we are involved in the next generation of flavour physics experiments. Following on from the pioneering work of the BaBar and Belle experiments, Belle II aims to probe the asymmetric electron-positron collisions of the SuperKEKB accelerator to produce peak luminosities around 50 times higher than those previously achieved.

    The experiment aims to collect a dataset 100 times greater than those of its predecessors, opening a new window to precision flavour physics.

    This environment will provide a unique window to make precise measurements of deviations from the Standard Model, and is a complementary approach to the experiments at the LHC where the 'energy frontier' is probed, compared to the 'precision frontier' at Belle II.

  • Advance detector development and accelerator physics

    Advance detector development and accelerator physics

    The generic high-bandwidth data acquisition (DAQ) development with reconfigurable cluster element (RCE) concept on Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) is a primary readout technology candidate for the ATLAS upgrade. The concept has been adopted by many other experiments (LCLS, LSST, LBNE, HPS...) for a broad user community.

    In Adelaide we have a High-Energy Physics DAQ laboratory in which this technology is studied as a candidate for the readout of the Inner Tracker (ITK) of the ATLAS phase-II upgrade. The phase-II upgrade is priced at around $300 million and synergy among the readout approaches of the silicon strip and pixel detectors may be a key driver in helping reduce the cost.

    Our RCE test stand, using next-generation equipment, is built to demonstrate the viability of this approach to providing a DAQ solution for silicon detectors of the future.

    This work is in collaboration with SLAC, Stanford University and CERN. We are also working on the development of beam loss monitors for Future Linear Colliders in collaboration with CERN, the Australian Synchrotron and the University of Liverpool.

    Atlas detector 511013 - Maximilien Brice, CERN

    Image: Maximilien Brice, CERN

  • Beam delivery and medical applications

    Medical physics lasers
    Beam delivery and medical applications

    Working in close conjunction with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital, we are developing tools to simulate the beam delivery in the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Research Unit.

    Medical physics

  • Grid and cloud computing for high-energy physics

    Grid and cloud computing for high-energy physics

    The high-energy physics group at the University of Adelaide is actively involved in the grid and cloud computing activities of CoEPP, through the LHC grid for ATLAS and also with other experiments such as Belle II at KEK.

    Adelaide operates its own Tier 3 site in the LHC Grid. The storage is made available through eRSA resources funded through Research Data Services (RDS) and the processing capabilities are made available through the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Project.

    Adelaide continues to play a leading role through the development of each of these activities.



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2011  All publications


Education and outreach

Our scientists aim to engage young people with the concepts of particle physics and increase the public knowledge of Australia's role in the global quest for knowledge in this field of research.

National CoEPP outreach program

Image: Dr Martin White co-starred in the touring stage show 'The Science of Doctor Who', presented by RiAus in association with BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand.


Our centre consists of academic staff, research associates, postgraduate and honours students, local and international visitors and collaborators and support staff.

Our members are part of the high-energy physics group in the University of Adelaide's School of Physical Sciences. We collaborate with school's high-energy astrophysics group and its ARC Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM).

We also work closely with researchers from many national and international institutions, including at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale nodes at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the University of Sydney.

Researchers Support staff
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • State University of New York at Albany
  • University of Amsterdam
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Bergen
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Cambridge
  • CERN
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Copenhagen
  • DESY
  • University of Freiburg
  • University of Geneva
  • University of Glasgow
  • Harvard University
  • University of Hawaii
  • Imperial College London
  • INFN
  • Institute for Nuclear Research
  • Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics
  • Institute for Theoretical Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
  • KEK
  • Kyushu University
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • University of Liverpool
  • LPC Clermont-Ferrand
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Max Planck Institute for Physics
  • McGill University
  • University of Milan
  • Niels Bohr Institute
  • Nikhef
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Padova
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • University of Southampton
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Stanford University
  • Stockholm University
  • University of Sussex
  • Tel Aviv University
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
  • Tokai University
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • University of Toronto
  • University College London
  • University of Utah
  • University of Victoria
  • College of William and Mary
  • Yale University
  • Yerevan Physics Institute - A. Alikhanyan National Laboratory
  • University of Zurich