Date

12-2010

Degree Name

BS in Physics

Department

Physics Department

Advisor(s)

Jennifer Klay

Abstract

The Higgs boson is the theoretical mechanism for creating the mass of particles. Although it has never been seen, the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most likely place for it to be created in the laboratory. The ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) detector is focused on the study of heavy ion collisions at the LHC and was not designed to find the Higgs boson; however, there is a chance it could be detected there. Although the luminosity (collision rate) for PbPb collisions is much lower than that for pp collisions, PbPb collisions have a higher probability to produce a Higgs boson because of the number of nucleons in the collision. ALICE has the capability of measuring the decay of a Higgs into two photons. In this paper we determine the probability of observing the Higgs at ALICE by estimating the rate of Standard Model Higgs production from established theories and combining it with the physical capabilities of ALICE. Code was developed to search for Higgs Boson candidates in the pp data collected during our two-month visit to CERN to work on ALICE in 2010.

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