Starting in academic year 2013/2014, the research group hosts a regular series of seminars, dedicated to our wide audience that includes physicists, students and engineers. These seminars feature excellent overviews presented by distinguished speakers and provide high value educational material for students . They prove to be the optimal venue for fruitful discussions between external experts and the group members.

The EPP seminars are registered as Specialist Course in Particle and Astroparticle Physics, co-organised by the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences of the UGent. The program for academic year 2017-2018 can be found below:

November 21, 2017

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N3 lecture room)

Observation of Higgs boson decays to tau leptons with the CMS experiment

Dr. Cécile Caillol – CERN

The discovery of a new particle compatible with the Higgs boson of the standard model (SM) was observed in 2012 at the LHC. The discovery was driven by the decays to photons and Z bosons. To further assess the compatibility of the discovered particle with the SM Higgs boson, it is essential to probe the mass generation mechanism for fermions. Using data collected at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV in 2016, the CMS Collaboration observed, for the first time with a single experiment, decays of the Higgs boson to pairs of tau leptons, with rates compatible with those predicted in the SM.

November 28, 2017

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N3 lecture room)

Dark Matter searches at the LHC

Dr. Kelly Beernaert – DESY, Hamburg

Already postulated more than 80 years ago by F. Zwicky, the phenomenon of dark matter is still one of the most puzzling questions in todays science. While its gravitational effect on large scale structures is well established, its nature remains elusive up to now. Assuming dark matter is a so-called weakly interacting massive particle it could be produced at CERNs Large Hadron Collider. In this talk, I will discuss the phenomenology of several dark matter models and present different search strategies that aim at discovering and understanding dark matter at LHC. Having analyzed about 36fb-1 of 2016 data so far, dark matter searches at LHC enter a promising phase. I will discuss recent results and present sensitivity projections of upcoming runs.

February 6, 2018

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N12 lecture room)

Primordial black holes as DM candidates: constraints from compact stars

Prof. Peter Tinyakov – ULB

We will review the status of primordial black holes as the dark matter candidates, and consider in more detail how this scenario can be constrained from the observations of compact stars – neutron stars and white dwarfs. The possible connection of this scenario with the recent LIGO observations will also be discussed.

March 20, 2018

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N12 lecture room)

Cosmic rays with the Pierre Auger observatory

Dr. Ioana Maris – ULB

Pierre Auger Observatory is the largest instrument ever built to measure air-showers produced by the highest energetic cosmic rays. I will present the results from the Pierre Auger regarding the energy spectrum, mass composition and arrival directions of ultra high energy cosmic rays. The talk will be focused on the analysis methods to obtain the variables sensitive to the mass composition and their comparisons with the hadronic interaction models. The Pierre Auger collaboration is currently deploying an upgrade of the detectors, AugerPrime. The expected performances will be presented.

March 27, 2018

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N12 lecture room)

Challenges for theory from LHC precision studies

Prof. Giulia Zanderighi – CERN

May 22, 2018

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N12 lecture room)

Spin structure of the proton with polarized LHCb

Dr. Pasquale Di Nezza – INFN Frascati

Nucleons are emerging phenomena of the underlying theory of Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD). They can be considered as the smallest complex systems of our Universe. In order to reliably compute observables involving hadrons, knowledge of the multidimensional phase-space distribution of their internal constituents is of paramount importance. Through pioneering results obtained in the last decade, we have learned how to reconstruct from experimental data the distribution of quarks and gluons in three-dimensional momentum space. LHCb experiment at CERN is able to give unique and innovative contributions both from the physics and technological point of view proposing an unpolarised and polarised gas fix target into LHC.

June 20, 2018

(11.00 am, Campus Proeftuin – N12 lecture room)

Jet Vetoes in Trilepton Searches for Heavy Neutrinos at Current and Future Hadron Colliders

Dr. Richard Ruiz – IPPP Durham University
Heavy neutrinos that couple appreciably to Standard Model particles are a common prediction of low-scale neutrino mass models. If kinematically accessible, such hypothetical particles can be produced copiously at the Large Hadron Collider, and its potential successors, and shed light on the mysterious origin of tiny neutrino masses. In this seminar, the results of a newly proposed search methodology for heavy neutrinos at hadron colliders are presented. The analysis proposal focuses on an unusual (but safe) implementation of jet vetoes. Newfound sensitivity at the High-Luminosity LHC and potential successor hadron colliders are discussed.