PhD project: Flavour Physics with LHCb

Project description

The LHCb experiment at the LHC is designed to perform tests of the flavour sector of Standard Model with unprecedented precision. These measurements constrain the fundamental parameters of the CKM matrix of the Standard Model and are sensitive to the virtual effects of new physics through loop-induced contributions. During Run 1 and 2 of the LHC LHCb has collected the worlds largest samples of heavy flavour decays.  Currently, LHCb is being upgraded to allow running at higher luminosity with 40 MHz readout from 2021 . This will allow to collect even larger datasets and to push the frontier of precision flavour physics even further.

The main focus of the group is the precision determination of the Bs mixing parameters, in particular the Bs mixing phase φusing the decays Bs → J/ψ φ and Bs → φ φ and we lead LHCbs efforts in this area. The group is also involved in a range of studies of both charmless b-decays and b-decays to final states containing charmonia. These exploit the large collected dataset to make precision determination of B hadron parameters such as lifetimes and masses and to study exotic charmonia states such as the X(3872) and the recently discovered pentaquark candidates.

A new focus of the group is the search for matter-antimatter asymmetry in the interactions and decays of charmed particles. Following the discovery of an asymmetry ("CP violation") in one such decay in 2019, we focus on using additional multi-body charm decays to precisely characterise this effect and understand its origin. 

The group is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the performance of the photodetectors of the current RICH system and is responsible for Quality Assurance and commissioning of the new MaPMT photodetectors that are currently being installed for the upgrade. At the heart of the LHCb upgrade  is a real-time software trigger running at 40 MHz. The group is active in the development of software deployment and monitoring software for the upgrade trigger. We also has an interest in exploiting GPUs for trigger and offline applications with the upgraded detector.

We welcome applications from students who are interested in any of these areas some of which have the potential to reveal physics beyond the Standard Model.

Joint studentships with Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory (RAL)

For the 2021 intake we have a joint PhD studentship with RAL to pursue a research project on LHCb, focusing on CP violation in beauty quark decays, and development of a future RICH detector system. Interested candidates should apply as usual through the university form, and also apply through the RAL portal, mentioning the LHCb Edinburgh project:
In practice the PhD experience will be similar to an Edinburgh project, with supervisors from both RAL and Edinburgh, and some time (~50%) spent at the RAL facility.

Project supervisors

The project supervisors welcome informal enquiries about this project.

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