Innovative search for heavy neutral leptons using parked datasets at CMS

01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Machine learning and decision making
    • Experimental particle physics
    • High energy physics
  • Engineering and technology
    • Modelling and simulation
Heavy neutral leptons CMS Parked data
Project description

The current knowledge in particle physics is gathered in the so-called Standard Model. One of the primary objectives of modern experimental particle physics is the search for phenomena that can not be explained by the Standard Model. This research addresses the experimental confirmation or rejection of a theory that can solve some of the problems of the Standard Model related to neutrinos. Neutrinos are very light particles. In fact, the Standard Model predicts neutrinos to be massless, but we have indirect experimental evidence that they do carry (a very small) mass. This research will search for the traces of a new type of neutrino, that is much heavier than the known neutrino species and that can explain why the latter are so light. This type of heavy neutrino is not postulated ad hoc: it complements a type of symmetry that the current Standard Model is lacking. Similar searches have been carried out before, imposing exclusion limits on the parameters of interest. However, this research is innovative, as it uses a new dataset, of which the contents differ strongly from all datasets used so far. This dataset has a high sensitivity to the possible presence of heavy neutrinos. The final goal of this research therefore consists of either the discovery of a new type of neutrino, or the exclusion of a certain mass range. Previous searches have already yielded some limits, but this research is expected to add much tighter constraints.