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School of Physics and Astronomy

The Top portal to discovery at the Large Hadron Collider - Prof. Freya Blekman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

29 October 2020

Time: 3:00 - 4:00pm
Speaker: Prof. Freya Blekman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Venue: Zoom event

Title: The Top portal to discovery at the Large Hadron Collider

Abstract: The top quark is the heaviest known elementary particle and was discovered only in 1995. Due to its extremely large mass, equivalent to a Gold atom, the top quark has the largest Yukawa coupling to the Standard Model Higgs boson and is also extremely sensitive to subtle and not-so-subtle signs of physics beyond the Standard Model.

After providing a historical perspective on the strategies and techniques that are used to identify the elusive top quarks, I will present how the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration has been looking for new physics beyond the Standard Model using the top quark sector. To do so, cutting edge analysis techniques are necessary. I will focus on the most recent results from the CMS experiment and will look forward towards the LHC discovery potential in the future.

Short CV: Freya Blekman received her MSc at Nikhef/University of Amsterdam on R&D for the LHCb experiment. Her PhD, also with Nikhef but mostly based in the US at Fermilab, was spent on the D0 experiment where she worked on the then recently discovered top quark. Blekman joined the CMS experiment in 2005, and worked on the construction and startup of the experiment as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London and Cornell University. Blekman has been doing top quark physics for over 20 years and has led multiple large physics and working groups at CERN, focusing on searching for physics beyond the Standard Model using top quarks, and is currently leading the communication of all physics results by the CMS Collaboration. She is professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a visiting professor at the University of Oxford.