Research Interests (needs updating)

Currently I am devoting essentially all of my research time to the CMS Experiment at CERN in Geneva, along with other colleagues in the UCLA CMS Group. The LHC accelerator has the highest-energy particle beams ever, so that CMS and another general-purpose experiment (ATLAS) have been searching for new phenomena such as the Higgs Boson, Supersymmetric matter, and extra dimensions of spacetime. Some news coverage of experiment during installation was in The New Yorker magazine and the New York Times. When the LHC first circulated beams on Sept. 10, 2008, there was extensive media coverage, even in the Style section of the Washington Post. It broke and after extensive repair, it restarted in 2010 and has since allowed a decade of research to which I have been devoted. The broad program aimed at physics discoveries is described in my 2010 public lecture, linked below, and the discovery of the Higgs boson is described in the talk linked after.

My group's work has included hardware for the Endcap Muon Trigger, in particular a prototype circuit board called the Sector Receiver, part of a successful trigger system test for which there is a published technical paper) and trigger software development. Subsequently, postdoc Slava Valuev, grad student Jason Mumford, and I contributed to studies of the discovery potential of CMS, starting with Z-prime bosons. Here's a talk of that Slava gave in 2002 giving a status report on this work, and some links to subsequent notes within CMS. This work led to our contributions to the Physics Technical Design Report of CMS. This early work led to the search with real data with Slava, grad student Jordan Tucker, and CMS collaborators in 2010, with the first of many CMS searches for Z-prime bosons in the dilepton channel published here in early 2011. The latest such search was recently submitted for publicaton. In parallel, with postdoc Pieter Everaerts (working in collaboration with CMS members), we searched for production of supersymmetric particles through the electroweak interaction, resulting in this paper. I was also heavily involved in the internal CMS review of the combined CMS results on the discovery of the Higgs boson and measurements of its properties, and of two subsequent combination papers with ATLAS. The Higgs boson discovery papers were published in Physics Letters.

From spring 2004 until the end of 2006, I served as the Deputy Research Program Manager of the for the U.S. CMS Research Program. The U.S. subset of CMS consisted at that time of physicists and engineers at 48 universities and two national labs (Fermilab as host lab and Lawrence Livermore); see some web pages here. From January 2007 until the end of 2009, I served a three-year term as deputy to Jim Virdee, the Spokesperson (scientific and managerial leader) of CMS.

Prior to CMS, the main research effort of my group was on the NOMAD neutrino oscillation experiment at CERN. In early 2003 Slava, with a little editorial help from me, finished the last two papers from this program, one on the NOMAD neutrino beam and one on a final neutrino oscillation search. The complete list of NOMAD publications co-authored by me is in the inSPIRE database.

Since nearly all the experiments I have worked on have been searches for rare processes, I have studied a number of statistical techniques for analyzing the data. My contributions in this area can be found in the inSPIRE database, plus a few unpublished ones on the arxiv . (Some are duplicates with inSPIRE list.) Recently I wrote up lectures on "Statistics in Theory: Prelude to Statistics in Practice", given at the 2018 Hadron Collider Physics Summer School, and posted them on the arxiv. The link to the slides is in Ref. [1] in the paper.

My complete list of publications is in the inSPIRE database including numerous CMS publications.

On March 31, 2010, I gave a lecture to the general public on the physics goals of the LHC. The slides are posted here.

On November 8, 2012, I gave a lecture to the general public on the discovery of a new particle while searching for the Higgs boson. The slides (9 MB pdf file) are posted here.

Back to home page for Robert Cousins