Peter Ballett

Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology
Department of Physics

University of Durham
Science Laboratories
South Road

I'm Peter Ballett and I work as a postdoctoral researcher in Particle Physics at Durham University. I completed my PhD at Durham in 2013; my supervisor during this project was Prof. S. Pascoli.

My research interests broadly lie in particle physics phenomenology and neutrino physics, with connections to flavour physics and model building. My work to date has been primarily focused on neutrino oscillation and the phenomenology of the next generation of long-baseline oscillation experiments. Along with the traditional questions around leptonic CP violation and the neutrino mass hierarchy, I have worked in particular on the possibility of constraining models which exhibit discrete non-Abelian family symmetries. In addition to this, I am interested in most topics in the neutrino sector, adjacent areas and beyond.

Discrete Family Symmetries

I have recently been investigating how medium-term oscillation experiments will be able to constrain models with discrete leptonic family symmetries. Models of this type have been very successful at producing phenomenologically viable mixing patterns but, as our knowledge of the PMNS matrix increases, will soon be subject to considerable experimental constraints. Understanding which parameter correlations can be associated with different theoretical constructions and how well different proposed facilities can observe such signatures allows us to assess the viablility of specific BSM ideas. This work also represents a concrete application of precision in neutrino flavour physics.

My colleagues and I have focused on deriving and systematically exploring three types of correlation: atmospheric and solar sum rules and a class of solar mixing predictions. Importantly, these types of correlation can be related to concrete model-building ideas which lead to PMNS matrices constrained by residual symmetries, with possible corrections coming from symmetry breaking in the charged-lepton sector. You can find more details on this work in the following preprints: arXiv:1308.4313, arXiv:1406.0308 and arXiv:1410.7573.

Neutrino Oscillations

For the last year, I have been working as part of the LAGUNA-LBNO collaboration, performing simulations to understand the physics potential of LBNO and studying questions of precision and new physics. Part of this work is presented in a paper on the MH and CPV reach of the LBNO design, available here, and the rest in many pages of internal documents, which will be placed on the arXiv at a future date.

In the past, I have also studied longer-term proposals, for example the Low-Energy Neutrino Factory (LENF). In 1201.6299, Prof. Pascoli and I worked to understand the optimal LENF design and to understand the behaviour of this facility as it interpolates between low- and high-energy variants. We have also made an exhaustive (exhausting?) set of plots from this study available for download.

Some of our work on the LENF has been included in the International Design Study for the Neutrino Factory (IDS-NF) as part of the Interim Design Report (IDR). Details of this project and the IDR itself can be found here.

Young Theorists' Forum 2011

I was on the organisation committee for the 4th Young Theorists' Forum held at Durham University on December 14–15th 2011. This was a two day conference attended by over 90 theoretical physics graduate students working in the fields of high-energy physics, gravitation and cosmology. Further information on the forum, including timetables and abstracts, can be found on the conference website or in the programme.

Conference presentations & seminars

I have presented my work at the following events: