Brendan Regnery

Mentor: Dr. Darin Acosta
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"In my junior year of High School, I began learning about the strange world of Particle Physics. Through my fascination with this subject, that aims to understand the building blocks of the universe, I found out about the Higgs boson (a particle of the field that gives mass to matter). I began learning about this particle in my senior year in high school, and by the time I graduated, I said to myself “No matter what happens in college, or how difficult it is, I have to study this particle.” This determination and curiosity lead me to Dr. Acosta and the CMS research group, where I got involved with research. To this day, I am continually amazed at how complex our universe is at even the smallest scales."

Major

Physics; Zoology

Minor

Mathematics

Research Interests

  • High Energy Particle Physics
  • Physics Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics
  • Physics in Ecology

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Dean's List
  • UF in Kenya Ecology Program

Organizations

  • UF Marching Band
  • Society of Physics Students

Volunteer

  • Marching Band Outreach
  • Light the Night Walk

Hobbies and Interests

  • Music Performance and Conducting
  • Ice Hockey
  • Computer Programming
  • Cycling

Research Description

A Study to Enhance the Sensitivity for the Discovery of the Higgs Boson Coupling to Dimuons

We are optimizing the search for the Higgs boson coupling to dimuons by studying this coupling with the associated products of a W or Z boson. On July 4th 2012, the Higgs boson was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The University of Florida is a participant in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment—one of the two experiments at CERN credited with the discovery. Now that the Higgs has been discovered, researchers must confirm if it behaves exactly as predicted in the standard model of particle physics. To contribute to this process, we are improving the search for the Higgs boson coupling to dimuons by adding a dedicated search category sensitive to the Higgs decay to dimuons with the associated production and decay of a W or Z boson into two jets. If discovered, the measurement of the branching ratio for this decay can confirm the predicted Higgs coupling to dimuons, which is predicted to be much less than its coupling to tau leptons or b quarks. The additional discrimination criteria in this category include: invariant mass of the dijet decay of the W or Z vector boson, dimuon transverse momentum, the angle between the dimuon and dijet systems in the transverse plane, and missing transverse momentum. We will continue to improve upon this analysis program and use it for the next LHC run at an increased collision energy of 13 TeV. We will also determine any needed modifications to the electronic filtering system (i.e., Trigger).