Martin White

Associate Professor Martin White

Lecturer

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I work as a particle astrophysicist, using searches in astrophysics and particle physics experiments to find and test new theories of what the universe is made of and how it came to be. This includes:

  • Co-leading the GAMBIT collaboration, a team of approximately 40 international particle and astrophysicists who perform detailed statistical fits of new physics models. These include new models of dark matter, and will soon include cosmological models and models that explain neutrino masses.
  • Co-leading the DarkMachines initiative, that is developing new applications of machine learning techniques in dark matter research.
  • Searches for new particles at the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle accelerator located at CERN, Geneva. As a member of the ATLAS experiment, I search for supersymmetric particles and new Higgs-like particles, and I contribute to helping the middle of the detector function smoothly.
  • Working to improve the theoretical models of the new signals that we search for at the LHC, and in dark matter experiments
  • Involvement in the Australian Cherenkov Telescope Array consortium, who are participating in the building of a new, giant ground-based array of Cherenkov telescopes that are used to hunt for gamma rays from space. Future work will encompass dark matter searches.
  • Development of spin-off applications of particle physics techniques (including big data analysis). Current projects include the development of spectral analysis techniques for cancer diagnosis.

I am also highly involved in science outreach programmes including:

  • Regular visits to Australian schools
  • Co-author and co-star of the BBC-sponsored RiAus show "The Science of Fiction: Dr Who" that toured Australian theatres in 2014, and returned at the BBC Australian Dr Who festival in 2016.
  • Regular print, radio and TV appearances
  • A recent book in the UK Institute of Physics "Physics World Discovery" series on "What's Next For Collider Physics?".

In the following two lectures, I cover my research work at high school level:

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2015 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2013 Research Associate Unviersity of Melbourne
    2006 - 2010 Research Associate University of Cambridge
    2002 - 2002 Research intern Smartbead Technologies
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2008 University of Cambridge United Kingdom PhD
    2003 University of Cambridge United Kingdom MSc

2018: CI on two ARC Centre of Excellence applications (pending)

2018: CI, ARC LE190100140: Enabling the future of the Australian collider physics program ($864,000)

2018: Nominated for Pawsey Medal (pending)

2017: Lead CI, DP180102209: Optimising the search for the next discovery in particle physics, $664,320

2017: AIP delegate for Science Meets Parliament, Canberra

2016: CI, ARC LE170100104: The Cherenkov Telescope Array - Production phase, $1,390,000

2016: France-Australia fellowship from the Australian Academy of Science ($4800)

2015: Finalist, South Australian Science Excellence Awards

2015: Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science

2015: CI, ARC LE150100070, The Cherenkov Telescope Array, $270,000

2014: University of Adelaide DVCR support grant, $25,000

2014: Sole CI, ARC FT140100244, A Comprehensive Approach to Dark Matter Searches: the Cherenkov Telescope Array, IceCube and the Large Hadron Collider, $757,549

2013: University of Adelaide start up grant, $20,000

2011: University of Melbourne Early Career Grant, $14,000

Teaching picture 1

Previous Undergraduate teaching

I have previously taught the following undergraduate courses (teaching now curtailed due to ARC Future Fellowship):

PHYSICS 1200 - Physics IB: Basic review of special relativity and an introduction to quantum mechanics. See my course notes here.

PHYSICS 2510 - Physics IIA: Introductory course covering experimental evidence for quantum mechanics, scattering and tunnelling in 1D, the harmonic oscillator and quantum mechanics in 3D. See my course notes here.

PHYSICS 7008 - Gauge Theory: A survey course on Gauge Field Theory at honours level, including the gauge principle and QED, non-abelian gauge theories, geometric interpretations of gauge invariance, Wilson lines and Wilson loops, QCD, the electroweak model and the Higgs mechanism, path integral approach to QFT, and renormalisation (mostly in QED). See my course notes here.

SCIENCE 2300 - Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) II: Tutorials on the Higgs boson discovery as part of a survey course on recent scientific developments for 2nd year undergraduates.

Current Undergraduate Teaching

SCIENCE 1500 - Introductory Data Science: Wide-ranging survey course on data science methods, taught using practical examples from the sciences, medicine and business. Combines an innovative "flipped-classroom" workshop format with hands-on exercises in Microsoft Excel.

PHYSICS 7009 - General Relativity: An introduction to differential geometry and general relativity, including elements of classical field theory. See my course notes here.

SCIENCE 3100 - Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) III: Advanced projects for third year undergraduates in topics relevant to the research frontier, Previous topics have included current research problems in supersymmetry, dark matter, collider physics and data science.

Graduate teaching

  • I have previously given lectures at the annual schools of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale, covering LHC physics and Monte Carlo techniques.
  • In 2016, I delivered three lectures on experimental searches for supersymmetry at the SUSY 2016 pre-school (slides available here).

High school teaching

  • I have given a large number of lectures to high school students, both at CERN and in Australia. This includes a tour of Tasmanian schools in 2011 sponsored  by the Australian Institute of Physics. You are welcome to email me and request a lecture for your school on particle physics or cosmology.
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor New Techniques for Particle Searches at the LHC Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Adam George Leinweber
    2019 Co-Supervisor Measurement of Semileptonic and Flavour-Changing Neutral Current B-meson Decays Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Philip Timothy Grace
    2019 Principal Supervisor New Techniques for Beyond-Standard Model Physics Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Anna Jane Mullin
    2018 Co-Supervisor High Energy Physics Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Emily Kathleen Filmer
    2018 Principal Supervisor Beyond the Standard Model Physics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas Dean Leerdam
    2018 Co-Supervisor Fast Simulation of the ATLAS Detector Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Albert Xing Yi Kong
    2018 Co-Supervisor Physics Beyond the Standard Model: Composite Higgs Models Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Ethan Nicholas Carragher
    2018 Co-Supervisor Improvements to the ATLAS Simulations / ATLAS Data Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tristan Andrew Ruggeri
    2017 Co-Supervisor Search for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Riley Richard Geoffrey Patrick
    2017 Co-Supervisor Search for Compressed Super Symmetry Using the Atlas Detector Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Abhishek Sharma
    2016 Co-Supervisor Dark Matter Detection Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Andre Scaffidi
    2016 Co-Supervisor Neutrinos and Physics beyond the standard model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zachary Maxwell Matthews
    2016 Co-Supervisor Phenomenology of Dark Matter and Searches for it at the Atlas Experiment at the LHC Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jason Lea Oliver
    2015 Co-Supervisor Dark Matter in Extended Higgs Scenarios Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Filip Rajec
    2015 Co-Supervisor Experimental Practical Physics at the ATLAS Detector Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Damir Duvnjak
    2015 Co-Supervisor Composite Higgs Theory Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Daniel Thomas Murnane
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Effect of Primordial Black Hole Hawking Radiation on the Cosmic Microwave Background Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Harry David Poulter
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Search for Supersymmetry with the ATLAS Detector using the Recursive Jigsaw Technique in Zero Lepton Final States Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Anum Qureshi
    2015 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Investigation of Higgs Portal Dark Matter Models: From Collider, Indirect and Direct Searches to Electroweak Baryogenesis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ankit Beniwal
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor On the Detection of Dark Matter: Likelihoods and Limits on Spin-independent and Spin-dependent WIMP Couplings and the Implementation of Radiative Muon Decays in Dark Matter Analyses Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Andre Scaffidi
    2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Aspects of E6 Inspired Supersymmetric Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dylan Harries
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Probing Supersymmetry with Recursive Jigsaw Reconstruction Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Marco Santoni
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Collider Constraints Applied to Simplified Models of Dark Matter Fitted to the Fermi-LAT Gamma Ray Excess using Bayesian Techniques Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Guy Hamilton Pitman
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83130624
  • Email: martin.white@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4380
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Physics, floor 1
  • Room: 1 11
  • Org Unit: Physics

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