Hiatus for the hunt for the Higgs

from xkcd.com

I am going into a prolonged hiatus while I am busy putting together an analysis for hunting the mischievous Higgs boson in the data collected by the ATLAS detector. I am deeply absorbed in the task. It’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be, especially at this stage.

The thing is, I am looking for the Higgs boson via one of its most important decay channels in the Higgs mass range still allowed. This particular decay is a pair of tau leptons. There is already a mature analysis effort for this particular channel, but I am bringing in a  more advanced technique that should take the analysis to the next level. Bringing in this technique requires the analysis to be changed considerably, so it is just like starting a brand new analysis.

Most people working of the search for the Higgs decaying to two tau leptons at ATLAS are still focused on the traditional analysis, and rightly so. It is mature, and quick to turn out new results. So at this moment, I am alone in implementing the new technique in my particular “sub-channel” of the Higgs decaying to two taus (the taus also decay as soon as it is produced, making for a variety of signatures in what we actually can see with the detector). I am getting some help though, but nobody has joined in full-time yet.

I probably will not be posting in the next month or so. I have an outstanding opportunity to become an important player in the hunt for the Higgs boson within ATLAS and I intend not to miss it. Blogging is not the only thing to go. My musical project and social life are taking a hit too, but I don’t feel bad about it. What’s a few month of one’s life to have the chance to participate in one of the most important discovery in physics of the 21st century? Isn’t that the kind of thing that will allow you later in life to put on a smug satisfied face while saying “Yep, I did that.” 😀

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