Professor of Physics, Imperial College London
Professor Sir Tejinder Singh VIRDEE, Professor of Physics at Imperial College, London, is distinguished for his crucial role, over the last 25 years, in the design, construction, and physics exploitation of the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, one of two experiments that made the groundbreaking discovery of the Higgs boson in July 2012.
Virdee carried out his graduate studies at Imperial College on an experiment conducted at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre, Stanford. Since 1979 he has worked on experiments at CERN including on the UA1 proton-antiproton collider experiment that discovered the mediators of the weak interaction, the W and Z bosons. He is one of the conceivers and founders of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the LHC. Virdee pioneered some of the techniques used in the CMS experiment that were crucial for the discovery of the Higgs boson. He was the leader of the CMS Collaboration for three years, from 2007, that included the start of collision data taking, and was its deputy leader from 1993 to 2006.
Beyond his innovative work in particle physics, he is also a campaigner for science, and education in Africa and India. His work has been recognised by numerous awards – including Fellowship of the Royal Society, the Fundamental Physics Prize, the Chadwick Medal & Prize, and the European Physical Society Prize. Virdee was made Knight Bachelor in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.