Dr Maria Mironova was one of eight PhD students to be recognised with a 2022 ATLAS Collaboration Thesis Award. Since 2010, the awards have recognised the outstanding contributions made by PhD students to the ATLAS Collaboration.
Dr Mironova’s thesis has a dual focus: firstly, she describes a search for Higgs boson decays into charm quarks. This determined a direct upper limit on the Higgs coupling to charm quarks for the first time, and significantly improved on previous results in ATLAS. More collision data and better detectors are necessary to observe this decay mode in the future so the second half of the thesis focused on the characterisation of the latest pixel detector readout chip for the upgrade of the ATLAS detector for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). Measurements performed at the Oxford Physics Microstructure Detector (OPMD) laboratory confirmed that the chip should be able to withstand the high levels of radiation expected at the HL-LHC.
‘It is such an honour to be recognised with this award,’ comments Dr Mironova. ‘Working on my PhD in Oxford as part of the ATLAS Collaboration has been a great learning experience and has given me many opportunities to work on a variety of interesting topics. I am very grateful to everyone who I had the pleasure of collaborating with, especially my supervisor Daniela Bortoletto.’
Professor Daniela Bortoletto concludes: ‘There are around 1,200 PhD students in ATLAS – they are the heart of the experiment and essential to pushing the boundaries of science at the LHC. I am incredibly proud of Maria’s thesis. She was instrumental in improving our search for Higgs decays to charm quarks. Impressively, she also performed about 90% of the irradiation programme necessary to show that the chip for the ATLAS pixel upgrade will survive the challenging radiation environment of the high luminosity LHC. This is only the beginning of Maria’s career, and I know she will do great things.’
Search for Higgs Boson decays to charm quarks with the ATLAS experiment and development of novel silicon pixel detectors, Dr Maria Mironova