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Experimental Particle Physics Seminars

Starting in academic year 2013/2014, the department regularly hosted a series of seminars, dedicated to our wide audience that includes physicists, students and engineers. These seminars have displayed excellent overviews presented by distinguished speakers and provided high value educational material for students . They proved to be the optimal venue for fruitful discussions among 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 this academic year:

September 22, 2015

(11.00 am)

Lost in translation, from fundamental research in high-energy physics to medicine.

Prof. Stefaan Tavernier - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Translating form esoteric research in high-energy physics to “down-to-earth” medical applications has never been an easy process. As a privileged observer, I will describe attempts to do so over the last 30 years. I will suggest ways to make the process more effective and attempt to predict further trends.

November 24, 2015

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N3 lecture room)

The long way from the discovery of the W and Z to the Brout-Englert-Higgs boson

Prof. Daniel Denegri - CERN

We briefly discuss the steps that lead to the experimental discovery of the W and Z bosons thus definitively establishing gauge theories as foundations of the Standard Model of particle physics, and the search for the scalar (Higgs) boson as the obvious next goal for particle physics. After reminding some key features of the LHC and of the conception of the CMS detector, we present main SM physics results from LHC running at 7, 8 and 13 TeV (where already available) up to the discovery of the Higgs boson. We finish with some discussion on the future tasks and investigations at the LHC in relation with the physics topics discussed.

December 8, 2015

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N3 lecture room)

Latest news and prospects from neutrino astronomy in the Mediterranean Sea

Dr. Bruny Baret - APC, Paris 7

After the discovery by IceCube of a diffuse high energy cosmic neutrino flux a new field opens for the study of the non thermal Universe. Installed in the deeps of the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast, the ANTARES neutrino telescope is now complete since 2008 with 12 instrumented lines and have been taking data since then. Despite its modest size compared to IceCube, its location in the northern hemisphere and the specific optical properties of sea water compared to ice make it complementary and able to put valuable constrains on the origin of the IceCube signal or other specific potential sources in a multi messenger context. We will present the latest results obtained with ANTARES and give an overview of the status of KM3NeT, its kilometer size successor currently under construction, and the perspectives it will offer.

December 16, 2015

(11.30 am, Campus INW - N3 lecture room)

Neutrino Mass Models at the LHC

Dr. Frank Deppisch - University College London

Neutrino mass models constitute well motivated scenarios of Beyond-the-Standard-Model physics. The interplay between the low energy searches and high energy LHC physics provides us an effective approach to rule out, constrain or pinpoint such models. In this talk, I will provide an overview of examples where LHC searches can help determine the mechanism of light neutrino mass generation. I will focus on LHC scale seesaw mechanisms with with either sterile neutrinos or embedded in extended gauge symmetries. I will also address the impact of observing lepton number violation at the LHC on the viability of baryogenesis mechanisms.

February 16, 2016

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N12 lecture room)

Direct Neutrino Mass Measurements

Dr. ​Susanne Mertens - LBNL and Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

With a mass at least six orders of magnitudes smaller than the mass of an electron -- but non-zero -- neutrinos are a clear misfit in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. On the one hand, its tiny mass makes the neutrino one of the most interesting particles, one that might hold the key to physics beyond the Standard Model. On the other hand this minute mass leads to great challenges in its experimental determination. Three approaches are currently pursued: An indirect neutrino mass determination via cosmological observables, the search for neutrinoless double beta-decay, and a direct measurement based on the kinematics of single beta-decay. In this talk the latter will be discussed in detail and the status and scientific reach of the current and near-future experiments will be presented.

March 8, 2016

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N12 lecture room)

Neutron Electric Dipole Moment at Paul Scherrer Institute

Prof. Nathal Severijns - KU Leuven

The nEDM experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is measuring the electric dipole moment of the neutron. A non-zero value would indicate violation of the time-reversal symmetry and thus, via the CPT symmetry also CP violation. A CP violation larger than the one included in the Standard Model could help understanding the large baryon asymmetry observed in the Universe. The nEDM experiment at PSI is now in the data-taking phase and is currently the most sensitive in the world. An overview will be given of the most important characteristics of the experimental procedure and apparatus, the quality of the data as well as of the current status and future prospects.

March 22, 2016

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N12 lecture room)

The Wave of the Future: Prospects for plasma-wave acceleration in particle physics and photon science

Dr. Jens Osterhoff - DESY

Strong acceleration of particles has become possible in plasma wakes using ultra-short intense laser pulses or particle beams. This has attracted the attention of the particle accelerator community. Due to this interest DESY, Germany's leading accelerator centre, started a research programme for plasma-based acceleration. Dr. Osterhoff (DESY) will give an introduction into the field of plasma wake acceleration and an overview of plasma accelerator experiments using the FLASH facility at DESY.

April 12, 2016

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N12 lecture room)

Test of the Standard Model in Rare b decays at the LHC

Dr. Gaia Lanfranchi - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

The Standard Model of particle physics cannot be the ultimate theory, as it is incomplete and contains too many free parameters. Currently it is believed to be a low-energy effective theory of a more fundamental theory that will be superseded at a higher energy scale, with new symmetries, particles, dynamics and flavor structure that can produce quantum corrections in the decay of known particles. Rare decays of heavy quarks are extremely interesting as they are sensitive to new physics contributions that can modify branching fractions and angular distributions. I will review the status of rare decays of b-mesons at the LHC with special focus on the hints of new physics emerging from the analysis of Run I data.

June 1, 2016

(11.00 am, Campus INW - N3 lecture room)

Neutrino Mass Models at Current and Future Colliders

Dr. Richard Ruiz - University of Durham

The origin of tiny neutrino masses remains elusive. TeV-scale neutrino mass models predict the existence of new particles that couple to Standard Model (SM) fields via gauge couplings and/or sizable mixing. If kinematically accessible, these new states can be produced with observable rates at the Large Hadron Collider, or a hypothetical future 100 TeV Very Large Hadron Collider. After reviewing such models, we present major developments in how seesaw partners are studied at colliders. In particular, we introduce infrared- and collinear-safe signal definitions for the vector boson fusion and n-jet channels, which resolve issues that have plagued past studies, and are applicable to other SM and new physics searches. In addition, we summarize the latest available Monte Carlo tools, search strategies, and projections for discovery potential.