The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was constructed by a world-wide collaboration over the course of 20 years. It is currently the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, colliding protons at TeV scale energies. CMS is one of two main purpose experiments, intent on unearthing new physics at these prodigious energies. The primary goals of the LHC and CMS were the discovery of the Higgs Boson, and the discovery of new particles or interactions. The first goal has been completed in 2012 when the Higgs Boson was discovered, but thus far no discovery of new physics has been made.
Over the last few years the LHC has been delivering proton-proton collisions at an unprecedented center of mass energy of 13 TeV and at extremely high intensities. As of 2018 a data volume that is more than 10 times larger than what was used in the discovery of the Higgs Boson is available for analysis. Over the next few years, this huge dataset will be searched for signs of new physics. Traditionally, new physics searches at the LHC have looked for the direct production of undiscovered particles in the collisions, and this remains the dominant approach. The current lack of any evidence of new particles has however led to a new approach. The presence of new physics might manifest itself as modified standard model (SM) interactions or couplings, which can be observed through precise measurements of SM processes.
Our group is involved in several direct searches for production of undiscovered particles, as well as precision measurements of the standard model in the top-quark sector. The subjects we are currently working on are direct searches for heavy sterile neutrinos and supersymmetric particles, and the precise measurement of top-quark production in association with electroweak gauge bosons, which can then be used to probe the presence of new physics.