Search for new physics in exclusive processes at the Large Hadron Collider.
PT-CERN Call 2020/2
Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)
Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas
The subject of this thesis is the search for New Physics in exclusive processes at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Production of exclusive processes occurs with high cross section in gamma-mediated processes at the LHC. Photon-photon collisions may provide the conditions to study particle production with masses at the electroweak scale. By tagging the leading proton from the hard interaction, the Precision Proton Spectrometer (PPS) provides an increased sensitivity to select exclusive processes and probe the standard model (SM). PPS is a detector system at approximately 210 m from the interaction point around the CMS detector, and it is designed to perform measurements of e.g. the quartic gauge couplings and search for rare exclusive processes. Since 2016, PPS has been taking data in normal high-luminosity proton-proton LHC collisions. The goal of this research project is to select and identify for the first time in data the extremely rare processes of heavy particles – including lepton pairs, top quarks and W bosons - produced exclusively and identified together with proton tagging. The research will be carried out in the context of the Portuguese participation in the CMS experiment at the LHC in the more general context of the searches for New Physics processes at the LHC, in the framework of the activities of one of the outstanding research groups in High-Energy Physics in Portugal. Citing the Report of the recent Institutional Evaluation performed by an international review panel nominated by FCT: “The LIP-CMS group, while small in size, is really outstanding and world-class”. The candidate is expected to work in a team with a group of researchers.