One of the major intellectual achievements of the 20th century was the development of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. This model succeeded in classifying all the elementary particles known at the time into a hierarchy of groups having similar quantum properties. The validity of this model to date was confirmed by the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). However, the Standard Model as it currently exists leaves open many questions about the universe, including such fundamental questions as to why the Higgs mass has the value it has. One of the primary functions of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the LHC, which remains the premier Energy Frontier particle accelerator, operating at the CERN laboratory near Geneva Switzerland, is to discover new physics beyond the Standard Model. This project will analyze the latest data from the CMS experiment looking for signals of beyond the Standard Model. The work that will be accomplished with this award will impact three broad areas: 1) furthering the analysis techniques that might well discover new physics at the LHC 2) Alignment of the new tracking detector upgrade of the CMS detector (HL-LHC) and 3) workforce development and outreach to the broader community.

This group led the work on the 4-lepton decay channel in the discovery of the Higgs. This award will expand on analysis techniques developed in that discovery, applying it to the new data that has now been delivered by the LHC and use it in new searches for physics beyond the Standard Model. To discover this new physics, this group will probe the large data sample of Higgs bosons, measuring details such as precision measurements of the Higgs boson mass, width, quantum numbers, Charge Parity properties, and more generally, the tensor structure of Higgs interactions with vector bosons and fermions. The larger dataset now available could yield new sources of symmetry violation (called Charged Parity or CP violation) that might be associated with the Higgs boson. This project will also support technical contributions to the operation of the CMS detector and to the study of new detector technology for high luminosity upgrades of the LHC, the HL-LHC which has now just started. The contributions to the study of detector upgrades are based on tools that were developed to support the present operation. The PI's group is the host of a QuarkNet center that has a current membership of 25 Baltimore area high school teachers. The QuarkNet center has initiated and helped to organize a very successful series of regional Physics Fairs that have brought science to thousands of area residents.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Physics (PHY)
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James Shank
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Johns Hopkins University
United States
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