Dr Tim Scanlon
Dept of Physics & Astronomy
Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
- Joined UCL
- 1st Jan 2014
Particle Physics is the study of the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and how they interact. The Standard Model (SM), our current best understanding of the Universe, is an extremely successful theory that predicts these interactions to a very high precision. Despite this success there are several fundamental questions that remain unanswered. The most pressing of these is how particles acquire mass. The most popular theory is known as the Higgs mechanism. This predicts that particles acquire mass by interacting with the Higgs field (similar to how charged particles interact with a magnetic field) and that a new particle the Higgs boson exists.
The two decade long search for such a particle was recently successfully concluded with the discovery of a Higgs boson like particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. However, the discovery of this particle is only the beginning of a new era as it opens a window onto a previously unexplored region. Using data collected at the LHC, I study the properties of this new particle, which allows us to begin answering the fundamental question of how particles acquire mass and maybe also other long standing puzzles as well. In particular I'm searching for the dominant decay of the Higgs particle into a pair of b-quarks, which is a vital channel to fully explore the properties of this new particle.
I supervise both MSc and PhD projects. Please get in touch if you are interested in undertaking research in these areas.
Dr T. Scanlon has had a leading role in Higgs searches on both the DZero (Tevatron, Fermilab) and ATLAS (Large Hadron Collider, CERN) experiments over the past 12 years. He has led the vital b-jet identification groups on both the ATLAS (~100 members) and DZero (~30 members) experiments, being instrumental in producing papers at both experiments on these vital techniques. He was leader of DZero's highest profile searches for the Higgs (~50 members), which was integral to the Tevatron's final Run-2 result on evidence for a new particle. He also led the ATLAS W/Z+Higgs(bb) search (~80 members) for the first full Run-1 dataset result. During this period he has obtained fellowships from Fermilab, CERN and the Royal Society to pursue his research. He is now an academic staff member in the High Energy Physics department of University College London.