Tejinder (Jim) Virdee, FRS, is Professor of Physics at Imperial
College London. In 2012 he celebrated 30 years at Imperial
College. Virdee is best known for originating the concept and
overseeing the construction of Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)
, experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, with four
other colleagues and has been referred to as one of the
'founding fathers'  of the project. In July 2012 CMS, along with
the ATLAS experiment, announced the discovery of a Higgs
boson  that merited the 2013 Physics Nobel Prize to the
theorists  who discovered the mechanism that contributes to
our understanding of the origin of mass of fundamental particles.
CMS is now a world-wide collaboration which started in 1991
and has over 3500 participants from 45 countries.
In recognition of his work onCMS he has been awarded the IOP High Energy Particle Physics group prize (2007) and the IOP Chadwick Medal and Prize (2009). In 2012, he was awarded the 2013 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for 'leadership in the scientific endeavour that led to the discovery of the new Higgslike particle" along with 6 other physicists. He was awarded the 2013 European Physical Society High Energy Particle Physics Prize and the 2017 American Physical Society Panofsky Prize for his pioneering work and outstanding leadership in the making of the CMS experiment.
Virdee was elected Fellow of the Royal Society  and the U.K. Institute of Physics in 2012 and was knighted in the the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2014 .
After completing his Ph.D. at Imperial , under the supervision of Prof. Peter Dornan FRS, on an experiment conducted at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC), California, U. S. A., he joined CERN in 1979 as a Fellow in the Experimental Physics Division. Virdee’s early scientific career (1979-1984) involved verifying the strange notion that the “quarks” (the constituents of the protons the neutrons and all other hadrons) carry fractional electric charge. While this is not easy to verify experimentally, as it requires scattering real photons off of the quarks that are tightly bound inside the nucleon, this was successfully demonstrated by the NA14 photoproduction experiment at CERN in the mid-eighties . This experiment required a multi-cell Cerenkov detector that was designed and built under Virdee’s leadership; it provided his first experience with a large construction project. Subsequently he has introduced several innovative approaches to experimentation in high-energy physics, most notably in the area of calorimetry. Following NA14 he joined the UA1 experiment at the then CERN proton-antiproton collider (SPS) where his interest in high performance calorimetry was developed, leading to his invention of a novel technique of collecting light in plastic scintillator-based calorimeters  .
Towards the end of UA1, (1990) Virdee, with a few colleagues, started planning an experiment that would be able to identify the missing elements of the Standard Model (SM) and also to probe in full the physics of the TeV scale. This was to become the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider , one of the most complex instruments science has ever seen. Planning for this experiment required a broad understanding of both the known and predicted physics panorama at the energy frontier as well as an appreciation and understanding of the potential, and applicability, of the various detection techniques within the complex physics programme. Since 1991 Virdee has played a crucial role in all phases of CMS. Over the last two decades this has covered conceptual design, intensive R&D, prototyping, construction, installation, commissioning, data-taking and finally physics exploitation. He has been the driving force behind many of the major technology decisions in CMS, especially the selection of the calorimeter technologies, including the change of front-end electronics chain in the electromagnetic calorimeter . The CMS hadron calorimeter uses the technique he had invented earlier.
The ferocious conditions in the LHC, created by a billion proton-proton interactions per second, lead to a number of formidable experimental challenges . As a result, many detector techniques had to be pushed to the limit, and some invented, in order to ensure the performance needed to achieve the physics goals of CMS. One of the most critical technological innovations was the technique used by CMS for its electromagnetic calorimeter.
The possibility of detection of the SM Higgs boson played a crucial role in the conceptual design of CMS and served as a benchmark to test the performance of the experiment, none more so than the low mass region. In 1990 Virdee and an Imperial colleague, Christopher Seez, carried out the first detailed simulation studies of the most plausible way to detect the SM Higgs boson in this region in the environment of the LHC: via its decay into two photons . As the boson’s width at such masses is very small, the size of any “peak” seen over background would be dominated by the instrumental energy/mass resolution, placing stringent requirements on the electromagnetic calorimeters. Understanding that dense scintillating crystals offer arguably the best possibility of achieving excellent energy resolution, Virdee made a compelling case for the use of lead tungstate scintillating crystals (PbWO4) for the electromagnetic calorimeter of CMS  and then led the team that proved the viability of this technique , a technique that has played a crucial role in the discovery of the new heavy boson [3, 16, 17] in July 2012. This discovery of the Higgs boson completed the particle content of the SM. Virdee was deeply involved in the analysis for the search for the Higgs boson, especially via its two-photon decay mode.
CMS is now one of the two largest experiments in particle physics. Virdee was the deputy leader of the collaboration between 1993-2006 and was then elected leader (Spokesperson) in January 2007 for a period of three years. He oversaw the final stages of construction, installation and data taking with the first collisions at the LHC.
Despite its great success the SM is considered to be an incomplete theory. Hints of the physics beyond the SM may come from the direct searches for new particles, deviations from the predictions of the SM for the measured properties of Higgs boson or other SM processes that are now been made with ever more precision as the collected data increases. It is the mark of the power of the as-built CMS experiment that it has already been able to make quite precise measurements including those from the Higgs boson processes originally thought to be almost impossible to even detect at a hadron collider.
Today the highest priority in particle physics is the exploitation of
the full potential of the LHC including the high luminosity
upgrade of the accelerator and the detectors with a view to
collecting ten times more data by mid-2030s than called for in
the initial design. Virdee was one of the early advocates of this
path; already in 2001 he made a presentation at CERN  of the
challenges that would have to be faced by experiments
operating at a factor of around higher instantaneous luminosity,
today labeled the high luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). Due to some
of these problems parts of the CMS detector are now being
upgraded for operation at the HL-LHC. This will enable CMS to
draw full physics benefit from the HL-LHC programme . A major
item of replacement is the endcap calorimetry of CMS and the
technique chosen, labeled high granularity calorimeter (HGCAL)
deploys a novel technique that uses a very large area of silicon
sensors and implements very fine lateral and longitudinal
segmentation, and precision timing of high-energy deposits. In
2014 Virdee conceived this novel and ambitious project that he
now leads. In 2015 Virdee was awarded an ERC Advanced
Grant for 3MEuro to develop this “Novel Calorimetry” *. Within
the CMS and CERN context the Technical Proposal and the
Technical Design Report, the latter to move to construction, were
approved by the LHCC in 2015 and 2018 respectively. It will the
first time in a collider experiment that tracking calorimetry with
precision timing will be deployed, substantially enlarging the
physics capability of CMS. Such developments will undoubtedly
find application in the next generation of collider experiments.
The HL-LHC running is due to start in mid-2020’s.
Virdee’s work over the last few years continues a major theme of
his research work in introducing innovative approaches to
experimentation in high-energy physics, most notably in the area
of calorimetry, as the best means of extracting the science.
Honours and Awards
2014 Knight Bachelor, The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2014
2012 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, London
2012 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, London
2017 W.KH. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, American Physical Society, U.S.A.
2015 IOP Glazebrook Prize and Medal, U.K.
2013 High Energy Particle Physics Prize, European Physical Society.
2012 Special Fundamental Physics Prize
2009 IOP Chadwick Prize and Medal
2007 IOP High Energy Physics Prize 
2018 Doctor Honoris Causa, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
2014 Visiting Professor of Science, New College of the Humanities, London U.K.
2013 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France.
2013 Doctor Honoris Causa, Queen Mary University of London, U.K.
2019 Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians, Eastern Eye GG2,
Asian Media Group
2010 Named 62nd in “EUREKA 100: The Science List” - The London Times' 100 most important figures in British science.
2007 Named in the list of "100 Personalities that make Swiss Romandie"; l’Hebdo magazine, Switzerland
2018 Excellence and Achievements in Science, The Punjabi
Society of The British Isles, London.
2015 Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology,
Asian Awards, London, UK.
2014 Asian Achievers Awards: Professional of the Year, London, UK.
2013 GG2 Award Asian Leadership Awards, "person of the Year", London, U.K. and 37th in list of Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians.
2013 India International Award for Science, London, U.K.
2010 Sikh Awards for Education, London, U.K.
Membership of Peer Review Committees
2018 Member, Evaluation Committee of IFAE, Barcelona,
commissioned by CERCA (Intitucio Centre de Recerca de
2017 Chair, Nikhef Evaluation Panel, Dutch particle and
astroparticle physics, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2016- Member of Scientific Advisory Committee, Max Planck
Institute of Physics, Munich, Germany
2014- Member of Scientific Committee of Institut de Fisica
d’Altes Energies, Barcelona, Spain.
2013 Chairperson, Committee for Review of NIKHEF LHC Proposal, FOM, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2009-2012 Member, International Advisory Committee, Helmholtz “Physics at Terascale” Alliance, Germany.
2010 Member of Committee of Visitors, Review of High Energy Physics, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington.
2005 Member of Comite d’evaluation of Labratoire de Accelerateur Linear (LAL) Orsay, France.
2000-2004 External Member, Inst. of Particle Physics Phenomenology Steering Committee, U.K.
2000-2004 Member, Scientific Programme Advisory Committee, Fermilab, U. S. A.
1999-2001 Member, Scientific Programme Advisory Committee, Dubna, Russia.
1999-2000 Chairman of UK – Particle Physics Long Term Science Review which set out the programme opportunities and priorities over the next 20 years.
1999-2001 Member, Science Committee (SC), Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), U.K. SC was responsible for advice to PPARC on particle physics programme.
Principal Invited Lectures
2018 Exploring Nature Moments after the Big Bang, Taiwan
Physical Society, Taipei, Taiwan
2017 The LHC Project: Interwoven Complexity of a Scientific
Project for Fundamental Discoveries, Complex Systems, Royal
Society Meeting, Chicheley Hall, Milton Keynes, U.K.
2016 Particle Physics since 1945 and the Emergence of the
Standard Model, Oxford, U.K.
2016 The Long Journey to the Higgs boson and Beyond, Salam
Memorial Meeting, Singapore.
2014 Highlights and Prospects in Hadron Collider Physics,
Opening Talk at LHCP Conference, New York, U.S.A.
2014 Experimental Summary, Rencontres Du Vietnam, Quy
2014 The Discovery of the Higgs Boson and Measurements, with Fabiola Gianotti, Royal Society, London, U.K.
2013 Higlights from LHC Physics, European School of Physics, Parafurdo, Hungary.
2012 Recent results from the search for the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider, IV Jornados CPAN, November, Granada, Spain.
2012 Construction of Large Scale Projects, Technical Capabilities and Infrastructure, European Strategy Group Meeting, September, Krakow, Poland.
2012 Across the TeV Frontier with the LHC, Experimental Perspectives in Hadron Collider Physics, Cargese, France.
2011 Invited Talk at the Royal Society, Physics requirements for the Design of the ATLAS and CMS Experiments, May.
2011 The Experimental Summary talk at “Physics at LHC” international conference, Perugia, June.
2011 Talk on the LHC Project, European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), Geneva,
2011 Plenary Talk, The Large Hadron Collider Project and Superconductivity, Superconductivity Centennial Conference, SCC2011, Den Haag, September.
2011 The Experimental Summary talk at “Hadron Collider Physics” International Conference, November, Paris, France
2010 Invited “Vision” Talk at the international Higgs Hunting Workshop, Paris.
2009 The Opening Talk at the 1st Conference on Technology and Instrumentation in Particle Physics, Tsukuba, Japan, The LHC Project: Accelerator and Experiments.
2007 Opening Talk, IEEE-Nuclear Science Symposium, Hawaii, USA, The Large Hadron Collider Project.
2007 Particles, Strings and Cosmology (PASCOS), London, LHC and the Experiments.
2007 The Opening Talk at Conference on Computing in High Energy Physics, Victoria, Canada, LHC Machine and Experiments.
2003 Scottish Universities Summer School for Physics, St. Andrews Scotland: Lectures on General Purpose Detectors at LHC.
2001 Plenary Talk, Intl. Europhys. Conf. on HEP, Budapest, Hungary: Developments in Particle Detection.
2000 Search for the Higgs Boson, Gif-sur-Yvette School, Annecy, France.
1998 The Keynote Speaker IEEE-Nuclear Science Symposium, Toronto, Canada, The Large Hadron Collider Project at CERN.
1998 European School on High Energy Physics at St Andrews, Scotland: Lectures on Experimental Techniques.
1998 Nato Advanced Study Institute, St Croix, Virgin Islands, Lectures on Calorimetry.
1994 Prospects in Hadron Collider Physics, Plenary Talk, Proc. of Intl. Europhysics Conf. on High Energy Phys, Marseille.
Beyond Virdee’s innovative work in particle physics, he is also a
campaigner for science, and education.
Virdee is passionate about promoting the benefits of science and its importance in society. With monies awarded with the 2013 Fundamental Physics Prize he funds diverse and impactful educational and scientific activities in schools and universities in Africa, India and the UK, and projects in sub-Saharan African countries, through the Virdee Grants, in collaboration with the UK Institute of Physics.
He is regularly invited to give public talks about particle physics and the LHC project. The diverse venues range from schools (e.g. ESIC, Den Haag 2001),
science fairs (e.g. Barcelona, 2008; ISEF, Reno 2009; Cheltenham, 2012), named lectures, symposia and conferences (e.g. London 2007 and 2012; Philadelphia 2008 and 2011, Victoria, Canada 2016, Bangalore, 2016, Chandigarh 2018), and cities (e.g. Split 2009, Providence 2010, Barcelona 2013) in Europe and the rest of the world.
He has featured and appeared in numerous international press
articles, radio and TV programmes, e.g.:
2014 Interview on Sikh Spectrum, UK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5D0gthxBXI
2013 Participated in several BBC World Service radio programmes for "BBC Festival of Science Africa", broadcast from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
Also see "CERN and Science in Africa" broadcast on 26th August 2013; "How 'big science' projects such as the search for the 'Higgs boson' at CERN are helping with science teaching in Africa".
2012 Interviewed on BBC Radio programme by Jim Al-Khalili “The Life Scientific”.
2011 Invited plenary talks on the LHC programme at large international conferences on Optical Communication, and Superconductivity Centennial Conference on the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity.
2009 - a notable outreach event was a dialogue with Prof. A. C. Grayling broadcast by the BBC World Service that can found at: Discovery - Exchanges at the Frontier.
2018 HC Hans Memorial Lecture, Exploring Nature Moments
after the Big Bang, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
2016 Astbury Lecture, The Long Road to the Higgs boson and
Beyond, Univ. of Victoia, Vancouver Island, Canada.
2016 J. N. Tata Memorial Lecture, The Long Road to the Higgs
boson and Beyond, IIT Bangalore, India.
2013 The Quest for the Higgs boson at the LHC; A Historical Perspective, Public Lecture, Barcelona, Spain.
2012 Physics of the LHC, Conceiving and Building the Accelerator and its Experiments, Turing Science Festival, Edinburgh, U.K.
2012 Searching for the Higgs Boson, Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham, U.K.
2012 The Peter Lindsay Lecture, The LHC project at CERN: exploring physics moments after the Big Bang, May, Imperial College, London.
2011 16th Kaczmarczik Lecture, Exploring Nature Moments after the Big Bang: The LHC Accelerator and the CMS Experiment. Drexel University, Philadelphia, May.
2010 Public Lecture, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, U. S. A., The LHC Project, The Journey to Discover the Secrets of Nature, Moments after the Big Bang.
2009 Keynote Speech, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Reno, USA, Discovering the Quantum Universe, The LHC Project at CERN. The audience comprised 1500 selected 16-18 year-olds from about 60 countries.
2008 Invited Public Lecture with Prof. E. Witten, International Conference on High Energy Physics, Philadelphia, USA, Discovering the Quantum Universe, The Large Hadron Collider Project at CERN,
2008 Invited Talk at Euroscience Open Forum, Barcelona, Spain: Discovering the Quantum Universe, The Large Hadron Collider Project at CERN.
2007 20th Schrodinger Lecture, Centennial of Imperial College: Discovering the Quantum Universe: The Large Hadron Collider Project at CERN.
2001 Universal Laws, the Big Bang and Particle Physics, European International Schools, Den Haag, Holland.
- CMS website
- CERN Courier
- Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with teh CMS experiment at the LHC, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Lett. B716 (2012) 30.
- 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics
- T. S. Virdee, Ph. D. Thesis: Sigma Hyperon Production in a Triggered Bubble Chamber (1979)
- A. Astbury et. al., Measurement of deep inelastic Compton scattering of high energy photons. Physics Letters B 152 (5-6): 419. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(85)90521-0
- M. Albrow et. al., A uranium scintillator calorimeter with plastic-fibre readout, Nucear Instruments and Methods 256 (1): 23. doi:10.1016/0168-9002(87)91035-7
- CMS Letter of Intent, December 2012.
- The LHC Detector Challenge, Physics World, September 2004, IOP Publishing (physicsweb.org).
- N. Ellis and T. S. Virdee, Experimental Challenges in High-Luminosity Collider Physics, Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science 44 (1): 609–653. doi:10.1146/annurev.ns.44.120194.003141 December 1994.
- C. Seez, T. S. Virdee et. al., Photon decay modes of the intermediate mass Higgs boson, 1990.
- T. S. Virdee, A Crystal calorimeter for CMS at LHC
- Studies of Lead Tungstate Crystal Matrices in High Energy Beams for the CMS Electromagnetic Calorimeter at the LHC, G. Alexeev et al., Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A385 (1997) 425.
- Voyage of Discovery at CMS, Understanding the Higgs Bososn, July 2013 Summer Science Exhibition, The Royal Society, U.K.
- Journey in the search for the Higgs boson: The ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, M. Della Negra, P. Jenni, T. S. Virdee, Science 33B (2012) 1560.
- Detector Issues at SLHC, T. S. Virdee, talk at CERN EP-TH Faculty Meeting, The Future Scientific Options of CERN, organized by G. Altarelli and V.G. Goggi, 17th Jan. 2001 (referenced in arXiv:hep-ex/0112004)
- Editors, F Gianotti, M. Mangano and T. S. Virdee, Physics potential and experimental challenges of the LHC luminosity upgrade, The European Physical Journal C 39 (3): 293 (2004).
20 SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (December 2013)
1. Measurement of Deep Inelastic Compton Scattering of High Energy Photons, P. Astbury et al (NA14 Collaboration), Phys. Lett. 152B (1985) 419-427.
2. A Uranium-Scintillator Calorimeter with Plastic Fibre Readout, M. G. Albrow et al., Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A256 (1987) 23-37.
3. Performance of a Uranium/Tetramethylpentane Electromagnetic Calorimeter, M. G. Albrow et al, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A265 (1988) 303-318.
4. Studies of intermediate vector boson production and decay in the UA1 at the CERN proton-antiproton collider, C. Albajar et al, (UA1 Collaboration), Z. Phys. C44 (1989) 15-61.
5. The Compact Muon Solenoid, Letter of Intent, CERN/LHCC 92-3, 1992.
6. Experimental challenges in high luminosity collider physics, N. Ellis and T. S. Virdee, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 44 (1994) 609-653.
7. Studies of lead tungstate crystal matrices in high energy beams for the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter at the LHC, G. Alexeev et al., Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A385 (1997) 425.
8. Physics Potential and Experimental Challenges of the LHC Luminosity Upgrade, Eds. M. Mangano, F. Gianotti and T. Virdee et al., Europhysics Journal C39 (2004) 293
9. Detectors at LHC, Phys. Rep. 403-404(2004) 401. Invited article on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CERN.
10. The CMS experiment at the CERN LHC, S. Chatrchyan et al., J. Inst. 3 (2008) S08004.
11. Measurements of Inclusive W and Z Cross Sections in pp Collisions at √s = 7 TeV, CMS Collaboration 2011, J. High Energy Phys. 01 (2011) 080.
12. Observation and studies of jet quenching in Pb-Pb Collisions at √sNN = 2.76 TeV, CMS Collaboration 2010, Phys. Rev. C 84 (2011) 024906.
13. Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC, CMS Collaboration 2010, Phys. Lett. B716 (2012) 30.
14. Journey in the search for the Higgs boson: The ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, M. Della Negra, P. Jenni, T. S. Virdee, Science 33B (2012) 1560.
15. Search for supersymmetry in hadronic final states with missing transverse energy using variables aT and b-quark multiplicity in pp collisions at √s=8TeV, CMS Collaboration, Eur. Phys. J. C73 (2013) 2568.
16. Measurement of the BS0->mu mu- branching fraction and search for B0 -> mu mu- with the CMS experiment, CMS Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013) 101804.
17. Measurements of the Higgs boson production and decay rates and constraints on its couplings from a combined ATLAS and CMS analysis of the LHC pp collision data at sqrt(s) = 7 and 8 TeV, JHEP08(2016)045.
18. Tejinder S Virdee, The Voyage of Discovery of the Higgs Boson at the LHC, Ann. Phys. (Berlin) 528 (2016) 35.
19. The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, P. Jenni and T. S. Virdee, commissioned article in “60 years of experiments at CERN”, Advanced Series on Directions in High Energy Physics (2016), World Scientific Publishing, Ed. H. Schopper and L. di Lella.
20. CMS Collaboration, Combined measurements of Higgs boson couplings in proton-proton collisions at √s=13 TeV, arXiv:1809.10733 (2018), subm. to EPJC.
21. Michel Della Negra, Peter Jenni and Tejinder S. Virdee, The Construction of ATLAS and CMS, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. (2018) 68:183-209.
22. “The Large Hadron Collider: a marvel of technology”, Ed. L. Evans EPFL Press (Updated in 2018). First published in 2009.
Ch. 5.1: Tejinder S Virdee, Particle Detection at the LHC: an Introduction
Ch. 5.2: Tejinder S Virdee, The Compact Muon Solenoid Detector at the LHC
Ch. 7: Peter Jenni and Tejinder S Virdee, Discovery of the Higgs boson by ATLAS and CMS (new chapter).
et al., 2018, Search for single production of a vector- like T quark decaying to a Z boson and a top quark in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV, Physics Letters B, Vol:781, ISSN:0370-2693, Pages:574-600
et al., 2018, Search for lepton flavour violating decays of the Higgs boson to mu tau and e tau in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV, Journal of High Energy Physics, Vol:763, ISSN:1029-8479, Pages:472-500
et al., 2018, Search for decays of stopped exotic long-lived particles produced in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV, Journal of High Energy Physics, Vol:75, ISSN:1029-8479
et al., 2018, Identification of heavy-flavour jets with the CMS detector in pp collisions at 13 TeV, Journal of Instrumentation, Vol:13, ISSN:1748-0221
et al., 2018, Constraints on the chiral magnetic effect using charge-dependent azimuthal correlations in pPb and PbPb collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, Physical Review C, Vol:97, ISSN:2469-9985