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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Dr Seth Zenz


Lecturer in Particle Physics

Telephone: 0207 882 6557
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 403
Twitter: @sethzenz
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 1pm to 1:50 pm


Seth Zenz is an expert on the Higgs boson who became a Lecturer in the QMUL Particle Physics Research Centre in 2018.  He completed his PhD in 2011 at the University of California, Berkeley on the ATLAS experiment, studying the properties of jets in early LHC data.  Over the course of two postdocs at Princeton University and Imperial College London, he made a range of measurements within the Higgs program at the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration and led its Higgs to di-photon analysis group for 2016-18.

Motivated by the central role of charged particle tracking in all Higgs boson measurements, he has made contributions to the construction and operation of the silicon pixel detectors for both ATLAS and CMS. He now works on the ITk Upgrade for the ATLAS detector in preparation for the High Luminosity LHC; see PPRC Research Facilities for more details.


Research Interests:

Seth makes precise measurements of the Higgs boson in order to identify new interactions not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. This can take the form of Simplified Template Cross Section or other "binned" cross section measurements, or extraction of parameters in the context of particular models. His current focus is on Higgs decays to bottom quarks in association with a vector boson. He is keen to explore all of the "ingredients" that go into such measurements, including:

  • Jet structure and substructure
  • Novel machine learning algorithms
  • Improved statistical combination

He also works on the ATLAS Inner Tracker upgrade and developing new tracker technology (and new tracking algorithm approaches) for future colliders. See "supervision" tab for more details.

Examples of research funding:

  • Spark Award (STFC) for Higgs Boson Dominoes, [£14k, PI]
  • Large Grant (QMUL Centre for Public Engagement) for ATLAS Open Data in Schools [£8k, PI]
  • Small Grant (QMUL CPE) for Higgs Boson Dominoes [£1k, PI]
  • New Applicant Grant (STFC), 2019 [£9k, PI]
  • Zero support Mass Detectors (STFC), 2019 [£180k, Co-I]
  • Dicke Fellowship Research Funds (Princeton), 2011 [£11k, Fellow]
  • Graduate Research Fellowship (USA National Science Foundation), 2005 [£63k, Fellow]



Selected publications

  1. The CMS Collaboration, “Measurements of Higgs boson production cross sections and couplings in the diphoton decay channel at √s = 13 TeV,” Accepted by JHEP (2021). arXiv:2103.06956
  2. The CMS Collaboration, “Measurements of Higgs boson properties in the diphoton decay channel in proton-proton collisions at s = 13 TeV,” JHEP 11, 185 (2018). DOI 10.1007/JHEP11(2018)185

  3. The CMS Collaboration, “Search for the standard model Higgs boson produced in association with a W or a Z boson and decaying to bottom quarks,” Phys. Rev. D 89, 012003 (2014). DOI 10.1103/PhysRevD.89.012003

  4. The ATLAS Collaboration, “Properties of jets measured from tracks in proton-proton collisions at center-of-mass energy s = 7 TeV with the ATLAS detector,” Phys. Rev. D 84, 054001 (2011). DOI 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.054001

  5. The CMS Collaboration, “A measurement of the Higgs boson mass in the diphoton decay channel,” Phys. Lett. B. 805, 135425 (2020). DOI j.physletb.2020.135425

  6. The CMS Collaboration, “Search for a standard model-like Higgs boson in the mass range between 70 and 110 GeV in the diphoton final state in proton-proton collisions at s=8 and 13 TeV,” Phys. Lett. B 03, 64 (2019). 10.1016/j.physletb.2019.03.064

  7. The CMS Collaboration, “Measurement of inclusive and differential Higgs boson pro- duction cross sections in the diphoton decay channel in proton-proton collisions at s=13 TeV,” JHEP 01, 83 (2019). 10.1007/JHEP01(2019)183

  8. The CMS Collaboration, “Observation of ttH Production,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 231801 (2018). DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.231801
  1. The CMS Collaboration, “Search for high-mass diphoton resonances in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV and combination with 8 TeV search,” Phys. Lett. B 767, 147 (2017) DOI:10.1016/j.physletb.2017.01.027

  2. The CMS Collaboration, “Search for Resonant Production of High-Mass Photon Pairs in Proton-Proton Collisions at s = 8 and 13 TeV,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 5 (2016), 051802 DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.051802

  3. The CMS Collaboration, “A New Boson with a Mass of 125 GeV Observed with the CMS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider,” Science 338, 1569 (2012). DOI 10.1126/science.1230816

  1. The CMS Collaboration, “Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC,” Phys. Lett. B 716, 30 (2012). DOI 10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.021

  2. The ATLAS Collaboration, “Observation of a Centrality-Dependent Dijet Asymmetry in Lead-Lead Collisions at sNN = 2.76 TeV with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 252303 (2010). DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.252303

  3. The ATLAS Collaboration, “The ATLAS Simulation Infrastructure,” EPJC 70, 823 (2010). DOI 10.1140/epjc/s10052-010-1429-9

  4. The ATLAS Collaboration, “The ATLAS Inner Detector commissioning and calibra- tion,” EPJC 70, 787 (2010). DOI 10.1140/epjc/s10052-010-1366-7

  5. The ATLAS Collaboration, “The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider,” JINST 3, S08003 (2008). DOI 10.1088/1748-0221/3/08/S08003

 Full publications

  • Over 950 further publications with the ATLAS and CMS experimental collaborations. See full list at INSPIRE



Below is a list of potential projects for PhD students. Other possibilities can also be discussed.

Public Engagement

Seth is the Public Engagement Champion for the Particle Physics Research Centre and the lead academic contact for the particle physics project for Physics Research in School Environments. He holds both an internal Large Grant from the Queen Mary Centre for Public Engagement (CPE) and a Spark Award from the STFC for developing his engagement projects. As a former holder of a CPE Small Grant, he now sits on the Small Grants Panel. He won the 2021 SEPNet Public Engagement Champion award for this work, and was interviewed about it in April 2021.

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