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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Search for the Higgs Boson in its decay to b-quarks

Research Group: Intermediate C++ skills required. UG introductory particle physics.
Number of Students: 1
Length of Study in Years: 3.5
Full-time Project: yes


Discuss with supervisor and/or admissions tutor

Project Description

Though the Higgs boson has now been seen in its decays to vector bosons, and most recently first evidence has been observed in tau lepton final states, statistically significant evidence for its decays into b quarks has not yet been established. More data from the next run of the LHC is required to establish a signal. The second run will bring with it new challenges as the interaction rate and detector occupancies increase. Furthermore, the change in the centre of mass energy changes the physics as the phase space for top pair production opens up. This means greater emphasis needs to be placed on the uncertainties associated with modelling this background. In this project the student will first contribute to preparatory studies of the VH->bb mode, in particular in mitigating the impact of the increased pile-up rates expected in Run II and improvements to the Run 1 analyses to reduce the impact of the systematic uncertainties on the top-pair background. This will then lead to a first analysis of the Run 2 data, beginning in 2015 with the restart of the LHC.

SPCS Academics: Jon Hays