One of the main open questions about the newly discovered Higgs boson is to determine if it decays to b-quarks at the expected rate, or if there is some deviation which would hint at new physics. Although the H->bb branching fraction is around 56%, this channel as never been observed, due to experimental challenges in measuring b-jets, and significant and complex backgrounds covering the signal. One of these main backgrounds is associated Z+bb production, with the b-quarks produced by QCD processes. Predictions for this process come with significant theoretical uncertainties, and as part of his PhD Nicola had worked on the latest measurement of Z+bb, lead by UCL. During the studentship, he began to tune theoretical predictions to the data, to improve the modelling of this important process.
Nicola Orlando
June, 2014 to September, 2014