I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford and then took up a post-doctoral position (1972-74) at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California. I returned to Oxford to Lincoln College, where I was appointed Tutorial Fellow in Physics in 1976.
My research was in nuclear and particle physics and I published many papers in this field. I was a member of the Nobel Prize winning (2015) Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment, for which I was the UK group leader, and was the recipient of two Institute of Physics prizes. Prior to SNO, my research was on nuclear physics, mostly on nuclei far from stability. I joined SNO in 1990, and worked mainly on concentrator design, water purification and the HTiO assay method, statistical separation of charged and neutral current (CC and NC) events, the in-situ method of radioassay, and distributed 24Na calibration sources.
SNO discovered that solar neutrinos change flavor while undergoing neutrino oscillations during their passage through the Sun and to the Earth. The results vindicated the predictions of Standard Solar Models and required an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics to incorporate neutrino mass.
More recently, I worked with colleagues in the Engineering department on a solar cooker project. Trials of the solar cooker in Tanzania showed that the cooker performed well, but as made would be too expensive. The project is now with the company FuturEnergy, who are also looking at a larger version to be used as a source of energy in industrial processes.
I am the co-author with John Andrews of the OUP textbook Energy Science, and the 3rd edition was published in June 2017. I have written a dictionary of Energy Science for OUP and have previously written the CUP textbook Fundamentals of nuclear physics. I am currently working on Renewables: A Very Short Introduction for OUP.