2022 Spring Physics Colloquium Series: Dr. Darin Acosta

DateApril 20, 2022
Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.231
2022 Spring Physics Colloquium Series

Dr. Darin Acosta
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Rice University
Houston, Texas

Ordering Muons off the Collider Menu for Measurement and Discovery

Isidor Rabi once famously quipped "Who ordered that?" when a new particle, the muon, was discovered in 1936 and was subsequently shown not to be the predicted particle of the first theory of the strong nuclear force by Yukawa. In the many decades since then, the "periodic table" of
fundamental particles has grown considerably, and its combination with the collection of theories governing their interactions is now known as the Standard Model of particle physics.

In this talk I will motivate why the muon is ideal as a probe for studying particle interactions, and present a few recent physics results, several with
muons, from the CMS Collaboration that studies proton-proton collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. These results include the first evidence of the Higgs boson, the last particle confirmed in the Standard Model and which has a special role in the theory to provide mass to every other particle, to decay into two muons. The latest constraints on other rare Higgs decays also will be shown.

However, the muon may yet still hold a few more surprises for us, as other experiments have reported anomalies connected with it that I will report. There may even be new particles arising from extended theories that share some of the properties of the muon, but are something different entirely. Finally, the particle physics community is considering the construction of novel high energy colliders using intense muon beams as a way to probe higher energies without substantially increasing the size of the accelerator. I will report on some of the opportunities and challenges of such machines, including a muonion collider as a way to probe the structure of matter.

For more information contact: Dr. Andrew Brinkerhoff, 254-710-2626
PublisherDepartment of Physics
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