Measurement of top quark rare decay t->sW at ATLAS

DOMAIN: Particle and Astroparticle Physics and associated scientific domains

SUPERVISOR: Filipe Veloso

CO-SUPERVISOR: Ricardo Gonçalo

HOST INSTITUTION: Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas

DEGREE INSTITUTION: Universidade de Coimbra


The top quark is the heaviest elementary particle known, with a mass close to the electroweak symmetry breaking, and it can provide clues about the symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanisms. It is thus an excellent object to test the Standard Model of Particle Physics (SM). There is an important effort to study the top quark properties, like its mass, production cross-sections, electric charge, spin, decay asymmetries, rare decays, etc… Deviations from SM predictions of the production and decay properties of the top quark provide model-independent tests for physics beyond the SM. According to the SM, the top quark decays nearly 100% of the time to a W boson and a b quark. The Cabbibo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) quark mixing matrix is related to the rates of the Flavour Changing Charged Current (FCCC) decay modes. Some of the elements, e.g. Vts, were not yet directly measured but are determined from the unitarity conditions of the matrix. A direct measurement of these elements put strict conditions on the assumptions behind the matrix properties, as the existence of only three families on the SM. This research program will be developed within the Portuguese ATLAS group. It aims to measure the decay rate of the top quark into a W boson plus a s-quark with LHC data collected by the ATLAS detector using computational tools such as machine learning techniques. This result will then be used to measure the amplitude of the CKM element Vts. In addition the student will participate in the maintenance and operation of the ATLAS detector, namely in the calibration of the TileCal hadronic calorimeter. Short periods at CERN may also be required in order to collaborate in working meetings and/or shifts.