Mr Ian Connelly

Educational background

  • Royal Holloway, University of London (2011 - 2015)
  • Imperial College London (2007-2011)
  • Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (2000 - 2007) 

I have competed a PhD in Experiement Particle Physics at Royal Holloway and will graduate in Summer 2016. I have worked as part of the ATLAS Collaboration, searching for the decay of a Higgs boson to two bottom quarks. My work has been closely tied to the performance of the ATLAS b-tagging algorithms and top-quark pair production. I was involved in Run 1 analyses for VH and ttH production and also calibrated the b-tagging algorithms using dileptonic top-quark pair data. My thesis topic branched off into a study of the matrix element method and its application to the dileptonic ttH analysis, initially as a feasiblity study but also to determine the improved analysis sensitivity to a Standard Model Higgs boson.

I graduated from Imperial College London with a First in my MSci in Physics with Theoretical Physics. My Masters project was supervised by Ulrik Egede in the Particle Physics group where I worked alongside my project partner analysing the angular decay distribution of a rare electroweak penguin decay, which is currently being searched for at the LHCb Experiment due to the New Physics sensitivity which it has. This sensitivity comes from the the fact that the decay cannot occur through a tree level diagram and so NP virtual particles could be in effect in the loop process involved. 

Research interests

My current research within the ATLAS Collaboration has focused heavily on the identification and application of streams of hadronic particles, known as jets, which have constituant b-hadrons. I have been working within the b-tagging group on calibration measurements (using top-pair dilepton decays) and with the Higgs to bb group on searching for the 126 GeV particle.

Aside from particle physics, my other physics interest is cosmology. A lot of cosmology has deep ties with theoretical particle physics, as the early universe was hot enough to change the way our fundamental fields interacted with each other.

I enjoy learning about gauge theories and the mathematics which provides the foundations for the Standard Model. The ultimate question for me here is whether there is a reason behind abstract mathematical concepts explaining our universe, or if it truely is just the human mind making connections and creating ideas to make things easier to explain and there is no other reason behind it.


  • 2014/2015 : Second Year Python Computing, Third Year C++
  • 2013/2014 : Second Year Python Computing 
  • 2011/2012 : First Year Mathematics Problem Class in the Autumn Term.
  • Summer 2010 : I successfully completed the Student Associate Scheme (which was run by Exscitec in conjunction with Imperial College), where I worked in a secondary school for three weeks.

ID: 2388009