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Mirror Mirror on the Wall, which Higgs is the oddest of them all: Exploring the Top-Higgs Interconnection with ATLAS

Project description

Searching elusive particle interactions for clues to the origin of mass

The Higgs boson is a special elementary particle that mediates a field that gives mass to all elementary particles. Interactions between the Higgs boson and the top quark, the heaviest elementary particle, are the strongest. These top–Higgs interactions are an excellent test bench to investigate the so-called charge-parity (CP) violation. The CP violation theoretically explains why we observe more matter than antimatter in the universe – but it practically has not been observed enough itself. The EU-funded TheHiggsAndThe7Tops project is planning to reveal the CP properties in the top–Higgs interaction for revelations about the origin of mass and matter–antimatter asymmetry.


With the ground-breaking discovery of a new scalar particle, the Higgs boson, in 2012 by ATLAS and CMS, the standard model (SM) of particle physics has been completed. Despite this success, many open questions on the fundamental laws of nature remain unanswered. Among these are how exactly particles acquire their mass and why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

One of the most promising avenues to approach these questions is to explore the relation between the Higgs boson and the heaviest known elementary particle: the top quark. Due to its large mass, the top is expected to play a special role in the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking. In order to shed light onto this mechanism, understanding the coupling between the top and the Higgs in great detail and exploring the charge and parity (CP) nature of the Higgs are essential. While the SM Higgs boson is CP-even, many models beyond the SM require a CP-odd component. Higgs-top couplings are expected to provide an unambiguous probe of CP-mixed states.

I will explore for the first time all processes in which a direct determination of the top-Higgs interconnection is feasible, in particular events where the Higgs is produced in association with 1, 2 and 4 top quarks. These are among the most challenging channels at the LHC. I will pioneer a comprehensive programme, consisting of the development of powerful event-reconstruction methods and improved boosting techniques, allowing the first exploitation of novel variables in a beyond-state-of-the-art cross-process analysis, thus unravel the CP-properties in the top-Higgs interaction.

The ultimate goal of the project is the precise direct measurement of the top-Higgs Yukawa coupling, and the first determination of the CP-nature of the Higgs boson in fermion interactions. Confronting these results with the SM and models that go beyond the SM will yield an unprecedented insight into the origin of mass of elementary particles.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 999 998,00
Oxford road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom

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North West (England) Greater Manchester Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)