Summer Student Projects 2008

Mixed student group sitting on grassThe following list will give some idea of the range and diversity of previous Summer Studentship Scheme projects, along with the named individuals who participated.

Higgs Search at CDF

CDF LogoOur search for the Higgs boson at CDF now has sensitivity close to Standard Model predictions for a Higgs mass in the region of 160GeV, and the potential to observe or exclude in that mass range before the LHC switches on. Up until now we have considered Higgs production only from gluon-gluon initial states, but one way of improving the sensitivity even further and squeezing the most out of our data could be to look for contributions from the quark-quark initiated process known as "vector boson fusion" (VBF). Although the rate of these events is low, they are distinctive. The aim of the project is to use an existing framework to investigate trainings of artificial neural networks to distinguish VBF events from their backgrounds. The primary aim is to look at two-jet events. Further studies could progress to the single-jet bin; to setting limits on Higgs boson production in the VBF channel; and to combining the result with the other channels to bring us closer to discovery or exclusion.

Supervisors:  Aidan Robson, Rick St Denis
Student:  Michael Murphy, 3rd Year
Project Duration:  6 weeks

ScotGrid Web-based Accounting

ScotGrid_logoThe ScotGrid project, currently starting Phase 2, is engaging with a diverse range of academic groups in an effort to provide a cutting edge grid-based computing environment for researchers in Scotland. ScotGrid is in contact with research communities as diverse as: Arts and Humanities; Rural Policy Support; Atomic and Molecular Diagnostic Processes in Plasmas; Thermodynamics and Fluid Engineering; Computational Chemistry; Nuclear and Particle Physics. The project will enable a web-based Grid accounting system to be further developed for the Glasgow system in anticipation of more widespread use.

Supervisors:  Graeme Stewart, Tony Doyle
Student:  Graeme D Stewart, 4th Year
Project Duration:  6 weeks

B meson Reconstruction for LHCb

LHCb logoThe Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful particle accelerator ever built. Due to go 'live' in the Spring of 2009, it will probe the fundamental theories of nature at higher energies than any previous experiment.  If, as is hoped, there is New Physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics, the LHC experiments are in a unique position to find it. 

Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) is the dedicated flavour physics experiment at the LHC, which will investigate symmetry violations in the B meson sector. In order to maximise the physics potential of LHCb, it is vital to reconstruct as many of these B meson decays as possible, but the forward geometry of LHCb makes this a difficult task in decays where some of the decay energy is carried off by "invisible" particles, for example neutrinos.

The successful applicant will join an effort to improve the reconstruction of such decays, working closely with V. Gligorov and collaborating with other LHCb groups. The aim, depending on the outcome of this work, is that the student will present their results to an LHCb collaboration working group meeting.

Supervisors:  Vladimir Gligorov, Chris Parkes
Student:  Michelle Nicol, 4th Year   [Michelle is a prize-winning 4th year MSc student who is interested in future research work in particle physics.  She narrowly missed-out on a place on the CERN summer school this year.]
Project Duration:  6 weeks

Advanced Silicon Detector Development

PPE iconThe Glasgow particle physics group has world leading silicon sensor activities. The group is at the cutting edge of technological advances in the field and holds grants to develop the next generation of silicon sensors for a wide range of applications. These include fast, radiation hard sensors for particle physics, highly efficient pixel devices for medical and synchrotron applications and CMOS based imaging devices for a host of scientific applications, to name but a few. This project will be based on the development of new types of silicon sensors to allow devices to operate in the most extreme radiation environments while still exhibiting excellent detector characteristics. The research is still at an early stage and the work of the student, in collaboration with a senior researcher, will make a significant impact to the field and should lead to a publication.

Supervisors:  Richard Bates, Val O'Shea
Student:  Brian Colquhoun
Project Duration:  6 weeks

Silicon Detectors for the ATLAS Tracker Upgrade

ATLAS LogoThis year, some 15 years after conception, the ATLAS experiment (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) based on the LHC, will start collecting data, and progress on the road to discovering new physics. The Glasgow group has recently finished the build of the silicon detectors for the vital silicon tracker sub-detector, which lies at the heart of ATLAS. Even before LHC switch on earlier this year, we were working on the design of a new ATLAS tracker. The replacement will take place in less than 10 years, corresponding to the LHC being upgraded to the even higher luminosity super-LHC machine.

The Glasgow group is at the forefront of the global silicon detector effort that is pushing sensor technology forward to meet the demands imposed for the new tracker. This project will involve real hands-on physics measurements of the first silicon strip devices designed for the upgrade. The student will use the group's state of the art equipment couple with data analysis using LHC based software. The student, working closely with two of the groups researchers, will be part of the UK and international teams working on ATLAS silicon detectors. Assuming everything goes well, there will be the opportunity for the student to present their work at a collaboration meeting.

Supervisors:  Richard Bates , Craig Buttar
Student:  Barry Coyle
Project Duration:  6 weeks

Simulation and Reconstruction of Neutrino Oscillation Events in MIND

nufact logoThe students will carry out a GEANT4 simulation of a magnetised iron neutrino detector (MIND) for a neutrino factory.  This will entail carrying out the reconstruction and pattern recognition of neutrino events, and determining their sensitivity for measuring CP violation from neutrino oscillations. This project was progressed in collaboration with PhD student Andrew Laing, who undertook a 5-month placement at Valencia University where he developed the first stages of this simulation.

Supervisor:  Paul Soler
Student:  Lukas Lindroos, 4th Year
  [from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden]
Project Duration:  6 weeks