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Twins Mark and Leigh Whitehead go separate ways after gaining PHDs in particle physics

Mark (right) and Leigh Whitehead, twins from Leybourne and former Oakwood Grammar students who have got both graduated with PhDs in particle physics.

Mark (right) and Leigh Whitehead, twins who have both graduated with PhDs in particle physics

As one atom said to the other - we gotta split.

And that’s just what identical twins Mark and Leigh Whitehead are set to do after graduating this week with PhDs in particle physics.

Originally from Barleycorn, Leybourne, the brothers went to Brookfield Infants School and Oakwood Grammar in Maidstone, where they discovered a joint talent for maths and physics.

Since then they’ve followed the same path to Warwick University, but are now, aged 26, going their separate ways on different research projects - Mark staying at Warwick to work on an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva; Leigh moving to University College London to work on an experiment at Fermilab in the US - both working to unlock the darkest secrets of matter and antimatter.

Mark said they were looking forward to forging their own paths.

“A long time ago we saw a programme about some twins in their 90s who had always stayed together.

"The interviewer asked what would happen if one of them died and they both looked alarmed. We thought - we don’t want to end up like that.”

Despite that they remain in daily contact and share the same interests - playing guitar, football, Formula One, and of course, physics.

“What interests me is finding out things we don’t know,” added Mark.

“I’ve always wanted to know more, but you get to a point where no one knows the answers and you have to find out yourself.”

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