Deciphering interactions between the top quark and the Higgs boson with the CMS experiment

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2024
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Experimental particle physics
    • High energy physics
    • Phenomenological particle physics
Top quark-Higgs boson interactions Flavor-changing neutral currents Effective field theory
Project description

The standard model (SM) of particle physics provides a highly successful description of elementary particles and their interactions. It is nevertheless known to be incomplete but no experimental signs of new physics beyond the SM (BSM) have been found so far. Instead, precision measurements of SM properties become crucial in the search for new physics since small deviations found from SM predictions could hint at BSM physics at a larger energy scale. In this project, the interactions between top quarks (t) and Higgs bosons (H) are to be studied. The top quark, the heaviest known elementary particle, obtains its mass through its Yukawa interaction with the Higgs boson. The study of this coupling is thus essential to understand the mechanism by which particles acquire mass and to search for deviations predicted by many BSM models. The goal of this project is threefold: First, the SM processes of tt̄H, tHq, and tHW production are to be measured with the highest possible precision. Second, flavor-changing neutral currents are to be searched for in top quark-Higgs boson interactions. Third, results of both measurements are to be combined in a global analysis of possible deviations from SM predictions parameterized in the SM effective field theory. The project will use proton-proton collision data recorded by the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC).