Matthew Needham

Professor M D Needham

Academic staff
James Clerk Maxwell Building (JCMB)
Room 3401

Matthew is a member of the following School research institute, research group and research areas:

Research interests

I am a Chancellors Fellow in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. My main research interest is in indirect searches for physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics in the decays of beauty mesons and neutrinos.

One of the puzzling features of the Universe is the absence of anti-matter. To explain this inbalance processes such as CP violation that distinguish matter and anti-matter are needed. Though CP violation is allowed in the Standard Model the level is much smaller than that needed to explain the matter-antimatter inbalance. Models of physics beyond the Standard Model (e.g. Supersymmetry or Little Higgs model) naturally lead to additional sources of CP violation. By comparing measurements of CP violation in the decays of beauty and charm quarks to the Standard Model predictions we aim to uncover the effect of new physics.

My work so far focussed on the analysis of data taken by the LHCb experiment. LHCb has collected the world's largest sample of heavy flavour decays and is able to perform a wide range of precision measurements. My main focus is search for the effect of new physics in the decays of Bs mesons.

Heavy flavour decays provide a rich environment to probe Quantum Chromodynamics. I am involved in studies related to the production and spectroscopy of charmonium resonances and searches for exotic states such as tetraquarks.

Another exciting possiblity to explain the absence of anti-matter is CP violation in the neutrino sector. The observation of neutrino oscillations makes this a viable possibility and two newlong baseline experiments (HyperK and DUNE) are planned for the 2020s that will search for this. I am a member of the HyperK collaboration and work on studies of the simulation and reconstruction of a new planned intermediate detector (TITUS).  

  • Supervision of MPhys student projects related to LHCb data analysis
  • Senior Honours projects measuring the muon lifetime using cosmic rays
  • Junior Honours Research Methods advisor 
  • SUPA flavour and neutrino physics course organizer
  • Junior Honours laboratory demonstrator
  • Junior Honours DAH course demonstrator 

Recent publications

  1. , , , , , , , and , Physical Review Letters, 132, 2, p. 1-12
  2. , , and , Physical Review Letters, 131, 17, p. 1-11
  3. , , and , Physical Review Letters, 131, 17, p. 1-12
  4. , , and , Journal of High Energy Physics, 2023, 10, p. 1-25
  5. , , , , , and , Journal of High Energy Physics, 2023, 10, p. 1-24