Ben Kilminster's Home Page
Many greats are left-handed, but did you know that the
sun burns left-handed ?
Physics experiments have concluded that some forces actually
behave differently when viewed in a
I am currently a particle physics researcher (associate scientist in physics division) for Fermilab. I received a PhD in physics from
the University of Rochester under the direction of
Professor Kevin McFarland, and after that I was a postdoctoral researcher for Ohio State University
until I became a staff scientist at Fermilab.
My research is done at Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) on an high energy physics experiment called CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab). Fermilab is located just outside of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Click here for a satellite view of Fermilab. As you can see this is a large facility !
Plain English Summary of what particle
Plain English Summary of my thesis analysis
Satellite view of a particle physics facility (Fermilab) (scale -> one side is 10 miles)
Particle physics explanations for the public
By studying particle physics at the highest energies, we learn about the structure of matter,
the forces of nature, and get a glimpse into the first moments of the universe after the Big Bang.
Currently, our goal is to find a model for the universe which will explain the unanswered
questions of our current Standard Model of Particles and Interactions . It is expected that the new model will introduce new particles and forces. While this may make things appear more complicated, we expect this line of research to eventually provide us with a very simple and elegant model, from which all the observed forces, particles, and interactions can be derived.
Recent research : Searches for a Higgs boson produced in association with a Z boson
Higgs bosons are produced at the Tevatron at Fermilab once every few days.
One way they are produced is along with a Z boson. Both the Higgs boson and
Z boson are unstable particles. Therefore, we have to search not for the Higgs
and Z, but for what they decay into. If the Higgs boson is light, it decays
mainly into a b quark and an anti-b quark. Free quarks cannot exist for long
in nature, and they go through a process which basically converts them into a spray
of charged and neutral particles which we can detect, called "jets".
A Z boson can decay invisibly, meaning it
decays into neutrinos which we cannot detect. Or a Z boson can decay into an electron
(the same one that is the basis of electricity) and an anti-electron. A Z could also
decay into heavier versions of electrons called muons. In my research, I search for
events in collisions which have jets and either electrons or muons. Once
we find events with these particles, we attempt to reconstruct
what happened in the event. It is a bit like Sherlock Holmes
following a group of footprints through the snow, and reconstructing
what happened, and what the people who made the tracks looked like.
For more information, please see some explanations of the Higgs boson
I prepared for the CDF Higgs public webpage.
PhD Thesis Analysis : "Search for V+A (or right-handed weak interaction) in top quark decay"
Public Web page describing the analysis and the results in plain english
Copy of PhD Thesis Dissertation pdf (3 MB)
First reporting of final result shown at CIPANP 2003PPT
Reference to CIPANP 2003 Conference proceedings Link to Full text
For CDF physicists
V+A analysis, PRD approval (CDF approval = "godparent") page
V+A analysis, analysis approval (top group approval = "blessing") page CDF-only
Other CDF papers' status CDF-only
How much data has CDF received ? Click for up-to-the-minute integrated luminosity (Run I collected ~ 100 pb^-1)
First looks at W+4 jet candidates from start of Run II (July 2001) here
First looks as Z/W candidates from Run II (July 2001) here
Main Projects on CDF
Consumer-Server/Logger for Run II here
Track Trigger Upgrade for Run IIb here
Rocking in the CDF band