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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Vanderbilt University
  • Alfredo Gurrola
  • (615) 322-2631
Award Date:12/13/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 420,237
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 83,618
  • FY 2020=$83,618
Start Date:01/01/2020
End Date:12/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Unprecedented Searches for New Particles with Non-Universal Fermion Couplings at the LHC, and the Increase of Minority Representation in Particle Physics
Federal Award ID Number:1945366
DUNS ID:965717143
Parent DUNS ID:004413456
Program Officer:
  • Saul Gonzalez
  • (703) 292-2093

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Programs Administratio
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Vanderbilt University
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics has been a successful theory, explaining experimental observations involving weak, electromagnetic, and strong interactions over the last few decades. However, as experiments probe deeper with increasing energies, it is evident that the SM is an incomplete theory: it fails to account for the mass of neutrinos and does not explain astronomical dark matter (DM). As members of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Collaboration, the Vanderbilt group exploits the rich particle physics program at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC, the premier particle accelerator operating at the CERN laboratory, is expected to significantly expand the realm of discoverable BSM physics signatures, leveraging the synergy between particle physics and cosmology. This work will probe BSM particles with TeV scale masses, such as the so-called Z-prime/W-prime bosons and leptoquarks, by targeting their production at the LHC by considering new and rare mechanisms involving non-universal couplings to the SM fermions. This research could potentially shed light on important questions in physics, such as the particle nature of DM, the evolution and structure of our universe, and the anomalies in precision measurements of the B-meson branching ratios and the muon anomalous magnetic moment, which show deviations of more than three standard deviations from the SM expectation. The physics goals are to search for new physics, to improve the algorithms for the reconstruction and identification of third generation fermion particles, and to contribute to hardware activities of the pixel detectors and pixel luminosity telescope, including the luminosity measurement of CMS. This project will also address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in particle physics through a partnership with Fisk University, a Historically Black University near Vanderbilt University. The plan includes a formal network of peer-to-peer mentoring via research experiences that are integrated with the group’s research program. These experiences will be individually tailored to each participating URM student transitioning from their undergraduate studies into the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program and will provide opportunities to the Bridge students to engage in particle physics research and interact with scientists in other fields to tackle cross-disciplinary issues. In addition, this project will also hold a yearly summer school for URM high school juniors and seniors from the local community and surrounding suburbs who are transitioning into their post-secondary college education. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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