Theses Doctoral

The Late Light Show with Long-Lived Particles: A Search for Displaced and Delayed Diphoton and Dielectron Vertices at the LHC

Kennedy, Kiley Elizabeth

The Standard Model of particle physics constitutes the most accurate and comprehensive known description of the fundamental building blocks of the universe. However, overwhelming evidence suggests that the theory is incomplete and that new physics may be hiding at the TeV-scale. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN probes these high-energy scales, opening a potential gateway to access physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM). Long-lived particles (LLPs) arise in many promising BSM theories, but they remain weakly constrained at the LHC.

This thesis presents a novel search for displaced and delayed diphoton and dielectron vertices originating from the decay of a neutral LLP. The analysis uses the full LHC Run 2 dataset of pp collisions at a center-of-mass energy of √s = 13 TeV recorded by the ATLAS detector, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 139 fb-1. The search harnesses the capabilities of the ATLAS Liquid Argon calorimeter to precisely measure the displacement and delay of the final state electromagnetic objects.

The results are interpreted in a gauge-mediated supersymmetry breaking model that features the pair-production of LLPs, with each LLP subsequently decaying into either a Higgs boson or a Z boson. Since no significant excess is observed above the background expectation, the results are used to set upper limits on the cross section of LLP pair-production for signals with an LLP mass between 100 and 725 GeV and lifetime between 0.25 ns and 1 μs. A model-independent limit is also set on the production of pairs of photons or electrons with a significantly delayed arrival at the calorimeter.


  • thumnail for Kennedy_columbia_0054D_17437.pdf Kennedy_columbia_0054D_17437.pdf application/pdf 5.06 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Parsons, John A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 7, 2022