Professor Isobel Ojalvo

My work focuses primarily on studying physics that decays to Tau leptons using data collected by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The CMS experiment is one of two large general physics detectors located on the 27 km LHC ring on the border of Switzerland and France outside of Geneva. A myriad of different particles are produced in the proton-proton collisions at CMS and it is an ideal environment for testing many Standard Model and Beyond the Standard Model scenarios. Due to the Tau lepton's relatively high mass (1.776 GeV) the two Tau decay is favored by the Standard Model 125 GeV higgs boson and is an ideal channel for studying fermionic couplings to the higgs. In addition to this, in many Beyond the Standard Model scenarios the Tau's high mass and position as a down-type fermion makes this lepton an excellent tool to search for new physics. The Tau lepton is a third generation fermion and has a very short decay length, meaning that the Tau itself never actually reaches even the innermost detector at CMS!

In addition to this, I have spent many years working on the Level 1 Trigger System at CMS. In order to search for rare decays of new physics it is important to analyze large amounts of proton-proton collisions. The LHC delivers proton-proton collisions at a beam crossing event rate of 40 MHz, out of this, only 1 in 40,000 events can be stored for later analysis. The Level 1 Trigger System performs the first round of data selection in real time using customized high speed electronics. For this system, I have commissioned and installed hardware, developed new high-speed algorithms which run on large Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) written and managed online software and spent many hours on call.