PhD Thesis Topics


The proposed research programme of the RTG relating to the Higgs boson will be centered around the measurement of the Higgs potential, Yukawa interactions and the properties of the Higgs particle in supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model. Examples of doctoral theses are:

  1. The Higgs alignment limit at higher orders
  2. Search for non-resonant di-Higgs production with the CMS experiment
  3. Charm-quark initiated Higgs boson production
  4. The Higgs-boson mass for a general SUSY spectrum
  5. Determination of light-fermion Yukawa couplings
  6. Search for anomalies in the ggHZ coupling

In our RTG we would like to pursue research connected to the top quark in the direction of exploiting a combination of high precision theoretical predictions combined with accurate experimental data analyses. On the experimental side, substantial experience has been accumulated in the analysis of final states similar to those resulting from top-quark decays in the context of BSM searches. This experience will be used to perform cross section measurements for the tt and tt+X final state in regions of phase space where signals for BSM physics are expected, e.g. at high missing transverse energy. These measurements can then be compared to high-precision theoretical calculations so that deviations from the predictions of the standard model can be analysed in a way which is independent of assumptions on BSM physics models. A particular emphasis will be put on di-lepton final states, where there is great potential for improvement of experimental analyses. Examples of doctoral theses are:

  1. Fundamental parameter extraction from lepton observables in top-quark pair production with leptonic decays
  2. Precise predictions for tt + pT(miss) at the LHC
  3. Measurement of the di-leptonic tt cross section in a BSM phase space
  4. Constraining BSM Physics at the LHC with 4 final state tops - precise description of ttZ with Z′ decay into tt final states.
  5. Constraining anomalous couplings of top quarks to gauge bosons
  6. Top-Higgs coupling measurement in strong and electroweak production processes

In our RTG alternative dark matter scenarios will be studied. Among others asymmetric and self-interacting dark matter, that imply novel LHC signatures, will be investigated. The later include the production of new, massive gauge bosons, or a whole new QCD-like dark sector which may lead to displaced jets and/or the production of dark LHC constraints on top-philic dark matter matter bound states. Dark matter models may also be tested through precision analyses of Standard Model cross sections, such as W+jets production. Such analyses often provide complementary information on new physics models, as they are sensitive in regions of the model parameter space where the BSM signal is very similar to SM background processes and where conventional BSM searches fail. Automated tools which can be used to test dark matter and general BSM models with SM-like signatures will be developed. Within the RTG we can profit tremendously from the results obtained for SM cross section measurements and calculations obtained in the top- and Higgs areas of the research programme. Examples of doctoral theses on the topics presented above are:

  1. Exploring dark matter at the LHC
  2. Model independent search for new physics in final states including bottom quarks
  3. Search for dark matter with deep learning in leptonic channels
  4. Signatures with forward jets as a probe of simplified dark matter models
  5. The search for New Physics with Standard Model measurements
  6. Probing astrophysical dark matter signals through searches at the LHC
  7. Global fits and blind spots in searches for supersymmetry at the LHC
  8. The search for composite dark matter with emerging jets