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An Effective Field-Theory Assault on the Zeptometer Scale: Exploring the Origins of Flavour and Electroweak Symmetry Breaking

Objective

"Questions about the origins of electroweak symmetry breaking and of the striking hierarchies ob-served in the spectrum of fermion masses and mixing angles are among the most pressing problems in fundamental physics. While the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was built to explore the physics of electroweak symmetry breaking on tiny distance scales of an attometer, the absence of clear hints for new particles in existing high-energy physics experiments suggests that new phenomena might only occur at distances still smaller than this. What if the LHC discovers a Higgs boson and nothing else? It has recently been realized that significantly shorter distances of only a few zeptometer (10^-21 m) can be probed indirectly in precision measurements of rare weak decay processes and of the couplings of the Higgs boson. Exploring nature at these scales never before accessible to mankind requires breakthrough advances in theory.

I propose a broad theoretical approach to precision physics in and beyond the Standard Model based on effective field-theory tools. In the context of warped extra-dimension models, the genuine quantum structure of fundamental physics will be probed in loop-mediated processes, including Higgs-boson production and decay as well as rare flavour-changing neutral current processes. These explorations will be complemented by highest-precision calculations of important collider-physics processes, such as Higgs, top, and electroweak gauge-boson production in association with jets, which for the first time will be performed without recourse to phenomenological models. The multi-loop anomalous dimensions required for these calculations will also provide a deeper understanding of the structure of infrared singularities of scattering amplitudes in non-abelian gauge theories. The results obtained from the research described in this proposal are likely to reveal the deep common origins of the flavour structure and electroweak symmetry breaking."

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/higgs boson

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-ADG_20110209
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Address
Saarstrasse 21
55122 Mainz
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 109 600
Principal investigator
Matthias Neubert (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Julia Doré (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 2 109 600
Address
Saarstrasse 21
55122 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Matthias Neubert (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Julia Doré (Ms.)