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Prof Ruben Saakyan
Prof Ruben Saakyan profile picture
  • Professor of Physics
  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Research Groups
Research Summary

I am a Professor of Experimental Particle Physics in the High Energy Physics (HEP) Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL, and  was head of the HEP Group in 2016-2020.

My expertise and interests lie in the area of neutrino physics and in developing instrumentation for applications in fundamental physics as well as outside academia (e.g. in medicine). On my arrival at UCL in 2000 I worked on the MINOS neutrino oscillation experiment. Later on my attention switched to neutrinoless double-beta decay, a rare hypothesised nuclear process that can shed light on the nature of the neutrino mass. I led the UK involvement in the NEMO-3 experiment and was international spokesperson of its successor, SuperNEMO, between 2009 and 2017. A radiation detection technology based on advanced organic scintillators that I developed for SuperNEMO has found applications in proton cancer therapy. My team has also developed new advanced methods for detecting  ultra-low level traces of radioactive backgrounds, notably radon. These methods are now applied in experiments searching for dark matter in the universe as well as in neutrino physics. 

 In 2017 I initiated the UCL and UK involvement in the LEGEND neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment which starts data taking in 2021 and has one of the best discovering powers in the field in the search for this elusive but critically important process. 

Measuring the absolute neutrino mass continues to be one of the key outstanding challenges in particle physics and it is critical to our understanding of the origin of matter and the early evolution of the universe. With this in mind I led a team of researchers that recently (2021) secured a grant for a project that will develop novel quantum technologies to measure the neutrino mass. 

01-OCT-2011 Professor    , United Kingdom
2007 Reader Physics & Astronomy UCL, United Kingdom
2004 Lecturer Physics & Astronomy UCL, United Kingdom
2000 Research Assistant High Energy Physics Group, Physics & Astronomy UCL, United Kingdom
1995 Research Fellow   Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory (LNGS), Italy
1993 Junior Research Fellow   Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics , Russian Federation
Academic Background
    Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1 University College London
1993   Master of Science Moscow State Engineering and Physics Institute
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