Michael Feld

Mentor: Dr. Darin Acosta
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"When I entered the University of Florida I decided to study physics because I find it interesting to be able to describe the world around is using mathematics. As I studied in school I discovered different areas of physics such as condensed matter, astrophysics, and high energy. I really enjoyed learning about high energy particle physics which describes the building blocks of the universe. I knew I wanted to conduct high energy research so I talked to Dr. Acosta to see if I could do research in this field."


Physics, Mathematics



Research Interests

  • High Energy Particle Physics
  • Dark Matter Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Academic Awards

  • Dean's List
  • University Scholars Program


  • Society of Physics Students


  • N/A

Hobbies and Interests

  • Playing Guitar
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball

Research Description

Determination of the Sensitivity to Discover the Higgs Boson Decay into Two Muons in Association with a Top-Antitop Quark Pair
The Higgs boson is a fundamental particle of nature that was discovered through experiments with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Standard Model of particle physics describes all of the fundamental particles of nature. This model consists of three different categories of particles called leptons, quarks, and bosons. Leptons and quarks are the fundamental building blocks of matter while bosons are particles that are responsible for different forces, for example, the photon is a boson that is exchanged between electrons which feel a force that we call the electromagnetic force. The Higgs boson interacts with matter and is the mechanism that gives mass to matter through a field called the Higgs field. The LHC is an underground circular particle accelerator that has a circumference of around 17 miles. At the LHC particles are collided at very high speeds and as a consequence, an enormous amount of particles expelled that are detected by several particle detectors. It will operate at nearly twice the amount of energy achieved for the initial Higgs boson discovery when it restarts this summer. A detector called the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) yields the data that we are interested in for our research project. We are interested in testing the predicted mass coupling of the Higgs boson by searching for the rare decay into two muons. To aid this analysis, we will explore the sensitivity achieved when the Higgs boson is produced in association with a top and antitop quark pair through the use of simulated data. If the data were to show that this interaction happens at a different rate than expected this would mean there is new physics to be explored.