Emma Ideal

Emma Ideal's picture
Graduate School Student


I am a member of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) ATLAS Collaboration, and my research focuses on searches for the neutral Higgs boson—the last particle defined in the Standard Model of particle physics that has yet to be discovered. My thesis work focuses on the Higgs->tautau decay channel, where one tau decays hadronically and the other leptonically. For low Higgs masses around 120GeV, which is the currently favored region, the branching ratio to taus is significant. Therefore this decay channel will be crucial for ATLAS to reach Higgs discovery sensitivity. Recently, my work has shifted focus to tau polarization, a powerful potential probe of many new physics phenomena at ATLAS. Access to tau polarization can be useful in making a measurement of the spin of the Higgs, provided its discovery. Moreover, tau spin effects are important to consider in Monte Carlo simulations, and most recently I performed studies looking at spin effects in embedded Z->tautau samples, the most significant background contribution to neutral Higgs searches.