A framework for Fast Simulation of particle interactions in the CMS detector (FastSim) has been developed and implemented in the overall simulation, reconstruction and analysis framework of CMS. It produces data samples in the same format as the one used by the Geant4-based (henceforth Full) Simulation and Reconstruction chain; the output of the Fast Simulation of CMS can therefore be used in the analysis in the same way as data and Full Simulation samples. FastSim is used in several physics analyses in CMS, in particular those requiring a generation of many samples to scan an extended parameter space of the physics model (e.g. SUSY) or for the purpose of estimating systematic uncertainties. It is also used by several groups to design future sub-detectors for the Phase-II CMS upgrades.
Related activities at UCL include the integration with the Full Simulation in the simulation of the electronic read-out ("digitization") and of the pileup of events from other proton-proton collisions, both in-time and out-of-time; the performance monitoring; and the overall maintenance and upgrade of the tracking-related code. Matthias Komm is current L3 convener of Tracking in FastSim, and Andrea Giammanco has been main responsible of the FastSim project from 2011 to 2013.
We contribute to the offline absolute calibration of the luminometry system of the CMS detector, by analysing the dedicated "Van der Meer scan" data at different center-of-mass energies and collision types (p-p, p-Pb, Pb-Pb).
As a related task, we also contribute to the data-driven inference of the true amount of "pile-up" collisions.
External collaborators: CMS Luminosity Physics Object Group.
The electroweak production cross section of single top quarks is an important measurement for LHC, being a potential window on "new physics" effects.
Past achievements of this group include the very first measurement at 7 TeV (in t channel) with 2010 data, followed by the most precise inclusive cross section measurements of t-channel cross section at 7, 8 and 13 TeV, and the first differential measurements at 13 TeV; the most precise |Vtb| extraction from single top in the world; the first measurement of W-helicity fractions in a single-top topology; the first observation of the tW production mode; the first measurement of single-top polarization in t channel; stringent limits on anomalous tWb, tgu, tgc couplings.
External collaborators: CMS collaboration.
During 2012, the CMS and ATLAS collaborations independently reported unambiguous evidence of the existence of a new particle of mass around 125 GeV.
Several analyses are ongoing to challenge the hypothesis that the new particle is the SM Higgs. We focus on the search for its production in association with a single top quark. Due to an effect of quantum interference, this process is strongly suppressed in the Standard Model while it gets enhanced if its couplings to the top quark and to the W boson have opposite sign. An observation of this production mode would therefore be a convincing proof that this new particle does not belong to the Standard Model.
We published the first search for this process using 8 TeV data, and we expect to achieve sensitivity to anomalous values of the top Yukawa phase during the LHC Run-II.
The top quark, being the heaviest known elementary particle, is a powerful tool to test QCD.
The study of top quark pair production in Heavy Ion collisions at the LHC, making use of the dedicated Pb-Pb and p-Pb runs, will open a new road in the investigation of the Quark-Gluon Plasma.
This research project started with the first measurement of top-pair cross section in pp collisions at 5.02 TeV, taking advantage of a "reference run" in Nov.2015. This measurement, in addition to being useful as a reference for measurements in Pb-Pb and p-Pb collisions at the same center-of-mass energy per nucleon, also provides a significant broadening of the lever arm for global PDF fits making use of top-quark data.
More recently we reported the first observation of top quark production in p-Pb collisions, using the data at 8.16 TeV taken in Nov.2016, testing the models of nuclear modification of the gluon PDF at high Bjorken-x.
We are now preparing future analyses in PbPb collisions. We are also interested in differential analyses in pPb collisions (to constrain nuclear PDFs) and in searches in central exclusive production pp events.
External collaborators: David D'Enterria, Pedro Silva and Marta Verweij (CERN).