Search for lepton non-universality in semileptonic charm decays and monitoring of the VELO

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


Flavour physics is a branch of particle physics that exploits precision tests to identify discrepancies with the Standard Model of particle physics and thereby to shed light on physics beyond the Standard Model. One such area are tests of fundamental principles such as lepton universality, which states that couplings to leptons should be of equal strength independent of their flavour. Recent hints from studies of particles containing bottom quarks motivate further research in this area. The project aim is to undertake first high-precision studies of lepton universality with particles containing charm quarks based on data taken by the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. One of the key challenges is the theoretical interpretation of the results, which can be improved by additional control measurements with particles containing both bottom and charm quarks. This will be addressed with two objectives:
- Test of lepton universality in charm particle decays
- Comparison of decay properties of charm particle decays and bottom-charm particle decays
These objectives form an unparalleled Big Data challenge as the charm decay data samples are the largest to have ever been used in such an analysis. This requires careful studies of the detector performance and efficient use of simulated data.
In addition, the student will be trained in the operation and analysis of a state-of-the-art silicon detector system. The operation of this detector involves a large amount of irradiation, which changes the detector performance. It is vital to the whole experiment that this is monitored closely and fully understood. Therefore, the project contains a third objective:
- Development and commissioning of a data quality monitoring system to study the detector performance and impact of radiation damage.
Overall, this project aim to deliver a broad spectrum of teaching of skills, which include data intensive analyses of collision data and detector performance, but also a variety of communication skills both within large international collaborations and with international experts at workshops and conferences.


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