Professor Ray Volkas Director, Melbourne node

Professor Ray Volkas
Director, Melbourne node

As a node director, Prof Volkas is responsible for the vision and focus of the Melbourne node's contribution to CoEPP. He is a theoretical particle physicist and early universe cosmologist, also working occasionally in high-energy astrophysics. His main interests lie in helping to uncover new laws of physics, new particles, new forces between those particles, and how new physics affects our understanding of cosmology and high-energy astrophysics.

In 2012, Volkas and collaborators computed constraints from current LHC data on two extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics. One of them is a particular version of Supersymmetry, and the other is a model where quarks and leptons are related by an interchange symmetry operation. Another collaborative work saw an extended analysis of a process called pangenesis, which is the unified creation of ordinary and dark matter in the early universe. A third stream of research in 2012 was on a particular kind of 'brane-world' scenario, which hypothesizes that our universe is a slice embedded in a higher-dimensional space. It was shown how experimental results on neutrino oscillations could be incorporated, aspects of the mathematical basis of such theories were rigorously examined, and an extension to two extra dimensions of space was proposed. Work performed in 2012 that will see fruition in 2013 includes models of neutrino mass that can be tested at the LHC and beyond, and further work on pangenesis and brane-world models.

Volkas was co-chair of ICHEP2012 and was on the International Advisory Board for the XXV International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics, held in Kyoto, Japan in June 2012. He has authored more than 140 publications, was awarded the Pawsey Medal in 1999, and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010. Professor Volkas serves as a Divisional Associate Editor for Physical Review Letters, and is the current Chair of the General Assembly, and Vice-President-elect, of the Asia- Pacific Organisation for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (APCosPA).

Selected publications

N.F. Bell, K. Petraki, I. Shoemaker and R. R. Volkas. "Dark and visible matter in a baryon-symmetric universe via the Affleck-Dine mechanism." Physical Review D, 84:123505, (2011).

R. Davies, D. P. George and R.R. Volkas. "Standard model on a domain wall brane." Physical Review D, 77:124038, (2008).

X.-G. He, Y.-Y. Keum and R.R. Volkas. "A4 flavor symmetry breaking scheme for understanding quark and neutrino mixing angles." Journal of High Energy Physics, 04: 039, (2006).

R. Foot, M.J. Thomson and R.R. Volkas. "Large neutrino asymmetries from neutrino oscillations." Physical Review D, 53:5349, (1996).

R. Foot, H. Lew and R.R. Volkas. "A model with fundamental improper spacetime symmetries." Physics Letters B, 272: 67, (1991).

Tue, 14 May 2013