Three physicists from VUB leading in the physics efforts of the CMS experiment at CERN

Three physicists from VUB leading in the physics efforts of the CMS experiment at CERN

Three VUB particle physicists have been appointed to the physics coordination group of the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at the CERN particle accelerator. In the last 20 years, VUB has regularly had a coordinating role, but to have three members at a time is truly exceptional. As team leader of the Interuniversity Institute for High Energies, VUB professor Jorgen D’Hondt is very pleased that the researchers have been given these mandates: “This is a reflection of the prestige the VUB team enjoys internationally.”

VUB professor Steven Lowette will coordinate the search for “exotic” new particles as of September 2020, which is a major priority within the programme of the CMS experiment. This will be his role for two years. CMS’s international research is organised into several working groups, one of which is the Exotica group. This is the largest physics group in the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, responsible for about 20% of the entire scientific output of the experiment.

Dr Seth Moortgat will coordinate the identification of b quarks – an elementary particle.  The identification of this particle is the basis of analyses resulting in about 50 articles a year. This research is important for finding new particles and for the study of known particles, such as the Higgs particle and the top quark. Dr Moortgat is an FWO postdoctoral researcher.

Professor Freya Blekman will continue her important role as communication officer. She coordinates the distribution of annually more than 100 scientific papers via articles in clear language and on social media.


Jorgen D’Hondt

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