The PhD supervisors and projects for studentship beginning in October 2023 are listed below. Applications for these IPPP studentships are also considered for studentships for the particle theory division of the math department, under the rubric of the Centre for Particle Theory. See here for information on how to apply, and indicate interest in physics in the application materials if it is the projects below which are your main interest.
The LHCb experiment has seen significant tensions between their measurements and theoretical predictions for rare decays of bottom (b) quarks. These so-called b anomalies are presently one of the strongest hints for the existence of physics Beyond the Standard Model (BSM). The LHCb data is already quite precise and will improve in precision over the next decade, and the ongoing Belle II experiment will provide an independent measurement soon. This puts pressure on us to improve the theory predictions, to ensure that we fully make use of the upcoming measurements.
One of the biggest obstacles to precise theory predictions of these processes are hadronic contributions with intermediate charm/anticharm states. These contributions can potentially mimic BSM effects or hide genuine BSM effects, and good control over these contributions is paramount to either claim or refute a BSM interpretation of the anomalies.
This project will provide a BSM-agnostic theory prediction of the charm/anticharm contributions, thereby removing implicit assumptions used in present theory predictions. The prospective student will work within an international collaboration.
Monte Carlo simulations provide us with a unique method to directly compare experimental results in particle physics with theoretical calculations. With the start of the LHC Run 3 we expect an era with unprecedented quantities of data.
While a specific research project will be designed jointly between the PhD student and adviser, the general research direction aims to develop novel computational methods for the simulation of quantum field theories and to improve the sensitivity of measurements and searches at collider experiments. We will design algorithms based on quantum computing, (quantum) machine learning, tensor network and Monte Carlo frameworks (see Michael’s homepage for more information).
The student would approach the problem from any of the entry-points of geometric EFT for electro-weak symmetry (arxiv.org/abs/2109.13290), ultra-violet completions of gravity (arxiv.org/abs/1906.11687), or cosmology (to appear).