Case Study: Emmanuel Olaiya

Emmanuel is a particle physicist working at the Particle Physics Department with STFC.

A passion for physics and travelling

Emmanuel studied maths, physics and chemistry for his A-levels. However it was his passion for physics which push him into university and beyond.

“Physics was always my favourite subject and for further education I wanted to do something that I enjoyed so I studied physics at university and then completed a particle physics PhD”

After finishing his degree at university, Emmanuel continued to study towards a PhD in particle physics.  This opportunity  allowed him to travel the world.  He lived in Geneva in  Switzerland for a year to do his PhD. Then after that he moved to California, USA to work on a particle detector for 4 years.

Another one of the great things about my job is it has enabled me to live in other parts of the world.

He lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for a year to do his PhD. Then after that he moved to California, USA to work on a particle detector for 4 years.

Being a particle physicist

According to Emmanuel the job of a particle physicist can be described as follows:

“I investigate the smallest particles and the forces they interact with. To do this I work with physicists around the world on experiments that detect what happens when you collide particles together at very high energies.”

Emmanuel is logical as he programs hundreds of computers to help him identify particles that are produced in accelerator collisions. He needs to be self- motivated because these experiments create so much data which needs looking through carefully. Emmanuel looks through the data creatively hoping to find missing particles that can explain how massive the Universe is.

“My main ambition is to detect particles that could explain Dark Matter which we believe form the majority of particles out there in space.”

Always learning new things

Emmanuel is always learning physics through his job. He also gets to teach physics and write research papers which he enjoys a lot. Other tasks involve spending time computer programming and working on detector development which he finds very interesting.

“I really love how varied and stimulating my job is.”

Adventuring Outdoors

In his spare time, Emmanuel loves to explore his beautiful surroundings by hiking or cycling. He also loves to go skiing, something that he found he really enjoyed whilst working in Geneva.