J. Michael Roney

J. Michael Roney
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
University of Victoria
Office: Elliott 209

BSc (Carl.), MSc (McGill), PhD (Carl.)

Area of expertise

Experimental particle physics

Director, Institute of Particle Physics
Spokesperson of the BaBar Collaboration

Professor Roney's research interests focus on studies of fundamental particles and interactions and the development of subatomic particle detectors. He has published widely on electroweak physics, studies of the flavour sector of the Standard Model, and on various related detector technologies. His recent studies involve searches for evidence of unexplained new fundamental physics in the flavour sector of the Standard Model using precision measurements as well as through direct searches for new particles and processes. He has led analysis teams in both the OPAL Collaboration at CERN and SLAC-based BaBar collaboration. Dr. Roney has served as the BaBar Physics Analysis Coordinator and currently leads the BaBar Collaboration as its Spokesperson. Looking to the future, he has been leading the Canadian effort on Belle-II, the next generation 10.58GeV electron-positron collider project at the KEK laboratory in Japan designed to search for new physics at the precision frontier with 40 times the intensity of existing facilities.

In this Faces of UVic Research video, J. M. Roney discusses being involved in international collaborations and what it means to make discoveries at a fundamental level.

Research interests

  • High Energy physics
  • Flavour physics
  • Precision electroweak physics
  • Instrumentation development

Additional contact info

Phone (SLAC): +1 650-926-5287

Current graduate students
  • Alexandre Beaulieu (PhD)
  • Sam DeJong (PhD)
  • Greg King (PhD)
  • Nafisa Tasneem (PhD)
  • Savino Longo (MSc)
Graduated students (UVic)
  • Ian Nugent
  • Karl Bush
  • Julia Publicover
  • Clay Lindsay
  • Chris Brown
  • Kevin Graham
Current postdoctoral researcher(s) and technical personnel
  • Paul Poffenberger
Former postdoctoral researchers
  • Ashok Agarwal
  • Hossain Ahmed
  • Swagato Banerjee
  • Asoka DeSilva

Professor Roney completed his undergraduate studies at Carleton University after which he spent two years teaching in Sierra Leone with CUSO. He received his M.Sc. from McGill University focusing on medical physics instrumentation. He then shifted to work on instrumentation for subatomic particle physics with the Carleton/NRC group receiving his Ph.D. from Carleton University in 1989. Following two postdoctoral years with University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute, he was appointed an IPP Research Scientist working at CERN on the OPAL Experiment making precision measurements of the weak mixing angle, the number of light neutrinos, and searching for new particles, including the Higgs. In 1996 he joined the faculty at the University of Victoria where he served as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2003-2008.

Since arriving at Victoria Professor Roney has been conducting research with theBaBar detector based at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on the Stanford University campus. BaBar was designed to measure the asymmetry in the decay properties of particles and anti-particles (CP asymmetries) - measurements which confirmed the theory of Kobayashi and Maskawa leading to their receiving the 2008 Nobel Prize in physics. In addition, BaBar data is  used to study a wide variety of properties of the b-quark, charm-quark,  tau leptons and various other processes accessible in an electron-positron collider. Dr. Roney has specialized expertise in the physics of the tau lepton. He also worked on the development of the ND280 TPC detector for the Japanese-based T2K experiment.Professor Roney is leading the Canadian team on Belle-II, the next generation e+e- Flavour Factory at the KEK accelerator laboratory in  Tsukuba, Japan. This experiment, with a factor of 40 more intense collisions than the previous generation experiment, will search for signs of new physics in rare and forbidden decays and by making precision measurements in order to look for discrepancies with the Standard Model.

Professor Roney has taught physics at every level from secondary through to graduate school, and has supervised the research of a number of graduate, as well as undergraduate, students. His research group includes technical and postdoctoral personnel and graduate and undergraduate students.

Dr. Roney is the Director of the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP). He has served as Chairman of Division of Particle Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) andon the CAP Senior Executive from 2009-13 and as CAP President (2011-12).Professor Roney has also served as an IPP Councillor, on U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation review panels, has chaired an NSERC review committee and has reported to NSERC as the Canadian representative on theBaBar International Finance Committee. He currently serves on the Belle-II Financial Oversight Panel. He is also a reviewer for INFN, the Italian funding agencies, and the UK Science and Technologies Facilities Counci. He currently serves on the TRIUMF Policy and Planning Advisory Committee and on the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Association of Physicists Foundation.

Deprecated UVic Website: https://particle.phys.uvic.ca/~roney/