Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - HIGGSTOOLS (The Higgs quest - exploring electroweak symmetry breaking at the LHC)

The research goal of HiggsTools (ITN 2012 HiggsTools 316704) is the investigation of electroweak symmetry breaking. This question lies at the very frontier of knowledge of theoretical particle physics and phenomenology and, in fact, the primary goal of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is to unveil the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking. HiggsTools consists of 10 Full Partners and 10 Associated Partners from European Universities and Research Institutes, one International Organisation (CERN), and 5 Associated Partners from the private sector. The project encompasses both theoretical and experimental particle physics and 35 scientists are actively involved in the supervision and training of the 20 ESRs recruited by the project. The overall progress is in line with the envisaged timescales and deliverables, and within budget.

During the first 24 months of the project the Supervisory Board has steered intensive coordination efforts in order to make the network successful. The web page was actively developed to serve as a recruitment tool, a management tool and as a tool for increasing the visibility of the network. The web interface for the selection of ESR fellows facilitated the coordination between the Recruitment Team and the partners and led to a very successful recruitment of the fellows. All 21 positions were filled (although one ESR has subsequently resigned and the position needs to be refilled). In the first call, which opened from 1/2/14 to 31/5/14, 108 applications were received (88 male and 20 female applicants). 25 were interviewed and 19 were recruited, some of whom started in 2015. In the second call, which opened from 5/11/14 to 28/2/15, 13 applications were received (12 male applicants and 1 female applicant). 4 were interviewed and 2 were recruited. The gender split of those appointed is 72% male (15/21) and 28% female (6/21).

Major research achievements have been reached in all the Work Packages. Our ESRs have so far produced thirteen few-author publications and some are well on the way to becoming signing members of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. In addition, 140 papers have been published by members of the network so far, and more than 33% of those papers are the outcome of networked research, namely they involve researchers from at least two different partners. Our participation in both the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations guarantees an underlying level of inter-node collaboration and as the network develops, we expect to develop this further through an active programme of exchange visits. The training is well in line with the DoW. The ESRs are profiting from high-level training, tutored directly by world leaders in the field. Secondments are playing an outstanding and very fruitful training and networking role. Outreach activities are ongoing, including public lectures according to the DoW. The website and Facebook account further adds to outreach.

As a final point, the LHC restarted in June and is now capable of providing collisions at the unprecedented energy of 13 TeV, almost double the collision energy of Run 1. The LHC is planned to continue high energy operations for the next three years and the increased energy in Run 2 will increase the chance of creating Higgs bosons in collisions. This means more opportunities to measure the properties of the Higgs boson precisely, to probe its rarer decays and possibly detect small, subtle differences between what the boson looks like in experiments, and what the Standard Model predicts.

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