University of Oxford
Head of Department of Physics
Ian Shipsey FRS is a particle physicist who has shaped research directions in the US and UK in particle physics, cosmology, and the application of quantum sensing and technology to fundamental questions about dark matter, dark energy, and gravitational waves from the cosmos.
He is distinguished for contributions to the flavor problem, the Standard Model’s (the prevailing theory) inability to explain three generations of fermions (electrons and the quarks inside protons are examples of fermions). He made crucial contributions to the most precise determination of four of the nine weak force quark couplings (with CLEO/CLEO-c at Cornell), observed rare b-quark decay processes (with CMS at LHC) and contributed to evidence for Higgs-field generation of the muon mass (with ATLAS at LHC), first measurement of LHC b-quark production (CMS); and Upsilon suppression in heavy-ion collisions, providing evidence for the Quark-Gluon Plasma (CMS). To enable these measurements, he constructed silicon digital cameras for CLEO and CMS, and currently ATLAS. Instrumental to the approval and success of CLEO-c, he was thrice elected CLEO/CLEO-c co-leader. Ian co-led the LHC Physics Center at Fermilab. Leveraging his silicon expertise, he pioneered U.S. DOE particle-physics involvement in Rubin Observatory’s flagship Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), contributed to the development of its 3-Gigapixel CCD camera, and is a Director of the LSST Corporation. He was instrumental in developing UKRI’s Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics Programme.
Shipsey is the Henry Moseley Centenary Professor for Experimental Physics at Oxford. He has been the Head of the Department of Physics since 2018 and is a Professorial Fellow of St Catherine’s College. Prior to his appointment at Oxford, he was the Julian Schwinger Distinguished Professor of Physics at Purdue University. He received the IoP’s James Chadwick Medal and Prize in 2019, he was a co-recipient of the European Physical Society’s Europhysics Prize in 2005 and 2013, and is an APS, AAAS, and IoP Fellow. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2022 and awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Physics in 2023.