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Prof Robert Thorne
Prof Robert Thorne profile picture
  • Professor of Physics
  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

In 2000 I was awarded a Royal Society Research Fellowship which I elected to hold at the Cavendish Laboratory, at the University of Cambridge. At the beginning of 2001 I also became the Director of Studies in Physics at St Catharine's College. I continued to work on parton distribution functions (PDFs) and the implications for hadron collider physics, becoming the main representative of the MRST group at international conferences. I also continued more individual work on heavy quarks and on small-x physics. During this time I gave Part III lectures on "the Standard Model" in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

In April 2006 I transferred my Royal Society Fellowship to the High Energy Physics group at UCL. At the same time I began working with a new Research Associate, Graeme Watt, who joined the group working on parton distributions. I continued to work on the now MSTW distributions, with particular emphasis on preparation for the Large Hadron Collider, which turned on turn on at CERN (Geneva) recently, but also continuing to incorporate new data from the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider at Fermilab (Chicago) and from the HERA electron-proton collider at DESY (Hamburg) as well as various other smaller experiments.

Work on the parton distributions is still continuing, with the emphasis on including results from the second run at the LHC with increased energy. Together with Patrick Motylinski, Lucian Harland-Lang and Alan Martin I produced the MMHT 2014 parton distributions.  I have also produced subsequent work in heavy flavour physics and on the inclusion of the photon distribution in the PDFs. In 2020 I, together with shaun Bailey, Tom Cridge, Lucian Harland-Lang and Alan Martin, produced the most recent update of the PDFs, MSHT20, which incorporates much more LHC data and significant improvements in theoretical precision and PDF parameterization. Together with  Tom Cridge, Lucian Harland-Lang and PhD students I am continuing work on PDFs, including continuing an already existing investigation of theoretical uncertainties.

I was recently the core member of the STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel (Theory) and hence also sat on the Particle Physics Grants Panel (Experiment) and was also a member of the STFC Particle Physics advisory Panel, and have sat on a number of other STFC panels. I have recently finished an extended term as a member of the IPPP Steering Committee. I have been a member of the PDF4LHC  Steering Committee since it began and am on the International Advisory Committee for the annual DIS Workshop. I am the longest standing author of the Structure Functions Review for the Particle Data Group.

Research Groups
Teaching Summary

I have given a third-year lecture course on "Methods of Mathematical Physics" and a first year lecture course on "Optics", and from October 2011 to September 2016 was the PhD admissions Tutor for the Department of Physics and astronomy. In 2015 I started a new fourth-year lecture course on "Quantum Field Theory", which was a success and has become well established, though I recently finished teaching. I now give PhD level lectures on the Standard Model of Particle Physics and teach Python computing.  

Academic Background
1994   Doctor of Philosophy University of Oxford
1990   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Oxford
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