Dr William Balunas
Nicholas Kurti Junior Research Fellow in Physics (Brasenose College)
Stipendiary Lecturer in Physics (St Hilda’s College)
Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Department of Physics)
BS (Carnegie Mellon University)
MS, PhD (University of Pennsylvania)
Academic Background and Previous Positions
I studied at the University of Pennsylvania for my PhD from 2013-2018, after completing my undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University. I came to Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher with the Physics Department in 2018 and joined Brasenose the following year.
Undergraduate Teaching Areas
I teach several undergraduate courses at St Hilda’s College in my role as a Lecturer. These include Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical Methods, and Symmetry & Relativity.
I'm an experimental particle physicist and a member of the ATLAS Collaboration, which uses high-energy proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider to try to understand the fundamental nature of the Universe. My research currently focuses on using the Higgs boson (discovered fairly recently in 2012) as a tool to look for new particles and interactions outside the Standard Model of physics. For example, searches for particles which interact only with the Higgs weren't possible until the last few years.
Specific projects I've worked on recently include searches for decays of the Higgs into "invisible" particles such as Dark Matter candidates (which has obvious connections with astrophysics/cosmology) and di-Higgs production, which is especially sensitive to the Higgs self-interaction as well as new particles that could be produced directly.
Additionally, I’m involved with technical work which is required for operating a large-scale experiment like ATLAS and analysing the huge volume of data it produces (currently hundreds of petabytes of real and simulated collisions). In particular, my recent focus has been on software for efficiently reconstructing the produced particles and showers on a large scale.
“Higgs self-coupling measurements using deep learning in the bbbb final state”, J. Amacker et al., JHEP 12 (2020) 115.
“Combination of searches for invisible Higgs boson decays with the ATLAS experiment”, The ATLAS Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 231801 (2019)
“Constraints on mediator-based dark matter and scalar dark energy models using √s = 13 TeV pp collision data collected by the ATLAS detector”, The ATLAS Collaboration, JHEP 05 (2019) 142
“Search for invisible Higgs boson decays in vector boson fusion at √s = 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector”, The ATLAS Collaboration, Phys. Lett. B 793 (2019) 499
See a list of Brasenose's Honorary Fellows.
See a list of Brasenose's Emeritus Fellows.
Read the Prospectus
Visit the Brasenose Prospectus page
Read more about studying at Brasenose College.
Interested in undergraduate study? Read about the courses we offer