Alexander Giuffrida

Search for Dark Higgs and Dark Photons at BaBar

The majority of matter in the universe is dark matter which does not interactwith light. In several physical models dark matter includes a dark photon (A’) which plays a similar role to that of the photon in the normal sector. In addition,recent experiments at CERN have confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, a particle which mediates the Higgs field that gives other particles mass. Now physicists are proposing theories beyond the Standard Model which introduce additional Higgs states, with one of them (A0), having a lower mass than the one found at CERN. Preliminary searches for A0 and A’ at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have not taken advantage of the tools currently available to handle the large amount of raw detector data. My analysis will improve uponthe work done in these searches by using machine learning techniques to enhance the selection rates of events which produced A0 and A’ in the BaBar detector. Should we be successful, our analysis would improve the bounds on the masses of these particles and the uncertainties of their existence. It could also motivate new searches for dark particles at other experiments.

Message to Sponsor

I want to thank the Rose Hills Foundation for this opportunity to fully devote my time to research this summer. Without the financial support of this fellowship I would have needed another job on the side in order to support myself, which would have limited my time available to work on this project. But now, I am in a position to have a paper published in the fall. I will work hard this summer to ensure I make the most of this experience, and use the skills I gain for my future scientific pursuits.
  • Major: Physics, Mathematics
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: Yury Kolomensky, Physics