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Research Van Swinderen Institute

PhD Defense Wouter Dekens: Discrete symmetry breaking beyond the Standard Model

When:Fr 16-10-2015 14:30 - 16:30
Where:Academy building RUG

The current knowledge of elementary particles and their interactions is summarized in the Standard Model of particle physics. Practically all the predictions of this model, that have been tested, were confirmed experimentally. Nonetheless, there are phenomena which the model cannot explain. For example, as of yet it is unclear why the universe is made up of matter while antimatter is almost completely absent.

One of the reasons why the Standard Model cannot explain this asymmetry is because it is quite close to having a  ‘CP’ symmetry between particles and antiparticles. However, it is exactly the violation of this symmetry that is required to explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry. For these and other reasons physicists suspect that there should be, as of yet unknown, physics that provides new sources of CP violation.

In this thesis we set limits on such new CP-violating sources by comparing their predicted effects to measurements of electric dipole moments: properties of particles which indicate CP violation. This is done in a model-independent way which allows one to easily apply the results to any scenario of new physics. In addition, we study so-called left-right models and analyze their theoretical viability, paying special attention to the Higgs particles and their interactions.

Furthermore, we study the predicted effects of these models in experiments, ranging from electric-dipole-moment measurements to collider experiments, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider. This has led to clear conclusions as to which of these models can currently be excluded.