Particle Physicist

Qualifications

A-levels

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths

Degree

MSc Physics with Space Science and Technology (University of Leicester)

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Ben works on the T2K experiment, doing research into neutrino oscillation. The experiment is based in Japan and scientists from several countries contribute.

"I always enjoyed science and physics in particular, so after my A levels I did a masters in Physics with Space Science and Technology. I’d advise anyone to stick with the subjects you enjoy – if you enjoy it, it will never seem like hard work. My degree also left me with the flexibility to change my mind about what I wanted to do. Eventually, despite having studied space science, I decided that I wanted to become a particle physicist.

"A typical day sees me attending global video conferences, writing computer code, and reading up on other research within and outside my experiment. My job also involves a lot of data analysis. I process and produce both real and simulated data and help transfer the information worldwide through a network of computers called the Grid. I then develop new methods of squeezing physics out of the data using statistical methods.

"As my work involves collaborating with scientists based in other countries, I often travel for work and have been to all sorts of amazing places around the world. I’d say that the best part of my job is the variety of problems to solve, the different people you meet and above all the places you visit worldwide.

"An A-level in physics lays a solid foundation for pretty much any career path you could hope to take. Physics is in everything around us as it describes the entire Universe in which we live. The problem solving and scientific skill set you will learn are coveted by all industries so if you do want your end game to be engineer, doctor, accountant, video game designer or scientist then start with physics. I have friends who took physics degrees who have gone on to all of these careers and many more jobs too."

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