We know from astrophysical observations that there is a matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe, with everything that we see being made up almost entirely of matter. However, if Big-Bang cosmology is correct, then matter and antimatter would have initially been produced in equal amounts. So where has all the antimatter gone? The dominance of matter over antimatter can only be explained if there is there is a violation of both charge-conjugation (C) and parity (P) in the laws of physics. CP-violation does indeed occur in the known fundamental particle interactions, but the level of CP-violation is not large enough to explain the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. This means that new particles or new types of particle interactions must exist in order to explain this astrophysical phenomenon.
In this project, we will search for new sources of CP violation using data recorded by the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In particular, we plan to study weak-boson scattering processes, which have only recently been observed at the LHC experiments. As part of this project the student will gain experience in the analysis of large datasets from particle physics experiments, will develop new observables to search for CP-violation, and will develop new techniques for identifying the hadronic decays of the weak bosons using machine-learning algorithms.
A minimum of a 2i class UK Masters honours degree or international equivalent is required. Or a first degree with an additional Masters degree or international equivalent.