Work on three fronts: analysis, upgrades and simulations

Kevin Burkett

Kevin Burkett, deputy head of the CMS Center, wrote this column.

With the LHC at CERN now in the middle of a shutdown that will last until 2015, members of the CMS collaboration are hard at work on many different fronts: analyzing 2012 data, working on detector components for this shutdown and writing up the Snowmass study on the physics of the high-luminosity LHC. The rapid pace of our work means working simultaneously on the past, present and future.

CMS scientists continue to harvest physics results from the LHC Run I data. One example is the recently discovered rare particle decay Bs→μμ. This result, which the CMS collaboration published simultaneously with the scientists working on the LHCb experiment, marks the culmination of more than two decades’ work from multiple collaborations in pursuit of this extremely rare process.

Looking toward the future, two phases of upgrades are planned for the CMS detector. Fermilab personnel are key members of the teams that will implement the first phase of upgrades to the hadron calorimeter, forward pixel tracker and the trigger system after LHC Run II. The implementation of these upgrades should be completed by 2018.

R&D is in progress for a second phase of upgrades to operate in the high-luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). We expect to complete those upgrades around 2023. With improved detectors and accelerators, the HL-LHC aims to deliver data samples over 100 times larger than what was recorded during the past run, colliding protons at the LHC design energy of 14 TeV.

As part of the nine-month-long Snowmass Community Summer Study, which culminated in the recent Snowmass on the Mississippi meeting, scientists working at the Fermilab LHC Physics Center have studied how to follow up on the discovery of a Higgs boson. Only through precision measurements will we know if the Higgs boson we have observed at the LHC is the one predicted in the Standard Model. Using simulations of LHC collisions, we explored how well we can measure the Higgs’ properties and how it couples to other particles. We also investigated what kind of results we can expect from the HL-LHC.

Other LPC scientists studied potential signatures of extra Higgs bosons and other new phenomena, including supersymmetry. The large data samples and high energy of the HL-LHC will allow us to extend our search for heavy, undiscovered particles far beyond the limits we’ve set so far. It will allow us to probe previously unexplored regions and put the Standard Model and alternative theories to the test.

Many of the the CMS contributions were included in the Energy Frontier summary talk at Snowmass by Chip Brock, and the complete set can be found in the CMS white paper.

With the compelling physics prospects of the HL-LHC, the CMS experiment can look forward to many exciting years to come.