Ciaran Williams, PhD

Ciaran Williams

Assistant Professor

257 Fronczak Hall
(716) 645-5901


  • MSci, Theoretical Physics, University of Durham – 2006
  • PhD, Physics, University of Durham – 2010
  • Postdoctoral Research at Fermilab and the Niels Bohr Institute

Research Area


High energy theory, Collider physics

Research Interests

My research primarily involves performing calculations at high precision in Quantum Field Theories, which make up the Standard Model of particle physics and its extensions. Such calculations are mandatory given the excellent performance and superb data coming from CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). High precision calculations are obtained from a perturbation theory in the coupling constants of a particular field theory, and result in loop integrals. These loop integrals require detailed calculation, we have just about mastered one-loop processes for the LHC, but have a long way to go obtain mastery at two-loops and beyond. There predictions will allow the theoretical uncertainty at the LHC, to match or better the experimental precision, and as such allow us to search for small effects which arise from unknown physics.

One such effect may be caused by Dark Matter (DM) production. There is an overwhelming abundance of evidence for the cosmological existence of DM, however we have yet to understand it from a particle physics point of view. The properties of DM are suggestive of potential interactions around the scales which the LHC can probe, if this is the case the LHC may be able to directly produce DM in the lab. Such an exciting prospect would fundamentally alter our view of nature. In order to maximize the potential of the LHC it is crucial for theorists and experimentalists to work together. The common ground between both worlds is known as phenomenology, and is an area I particularly enjoy working in.

Awards and Honors

  • Wu-ki Tung Award: Early-Career Research on QCD, 2016
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2017

Selected Publications

For a complete list of publications, please see Inspire