Dr Marcella Bona

Dr Marcella Bona

Lecturer in Particle Physics
Address:
School of Physics and Astronomy
Queen Mary, University of London
327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Telephone: 020 7882 6062
Room: G O Jones 405
Email:

Research interests

I have focused my research activity on indirect and direct searches of physics beyond the Standard Model. The Standard Model of particle physics is a now well-established theory explaining how elementary particles interact and has allowed for extremely precise predictions, thus proving its effectiveness. The discovery of the Higgs boson represents the last piece in the puzzle of the Standard Model. However the Standard Model is not the full picture as it does not explain a number of phenomena: amongst them, the matter-antimatter unbalance of the universe and the existence and essence of Dark Matter.

The matter-antimatter unbalance can be studies through Flavour Physics. I am active in the field since 1998 having focused on B physics from the experimental and phenomenological point of view. Flavour physics can also provide us a glimpse into physics beyond the Standard Model by indirectly assessing its effects at the lower energy scales. Complementarily to the indirect seraches, since the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva is now reaching unprecedented energies, new particles can be directly produced and observed. Since 2014 I am leading the PPRC (Particle Physics Research Center) effort towards direct searches of new particles and in particular particles that could constitute the Dark Matter of the universe.

I am a member of the ATLAS collaboration, an experiment taking data at CERN, Geneva: I contribute to the running, the calibration, the analysis and the management of the experiment. In particular I am deputy leader of the QMUL ATLAS group and I am leader of the QMUL ATLAS Level-1 Calorimeter Trigger group.

For three years I have been convener of the ATLAS rare B decays working group. I have been leading the search for rare B decays into two muons. These decays are highly suppressed in the Standard Model and the first measurements are starting to be accessible to the LHC experiments so it is a very exciting time in the land of the rare B decays..Together with PhD student Cristiano Alpigiani, I am the main author of the ATLAS analysis and our paper is now out: arXiv:1604.04263. Read about this important results on the ATLAS physics briefing on the search for B meson decays into muons. I am currently convener of the UK ATLAS B physics working group.

I have opened a new field of investigation within the Queen Mary PPRC by joining the search for the third generation supersymmetric particles with the ATLAS detector. Together with PhD student Dave Lewis we are developing the search for the supersymmetric partner of the top quark that is expected to be the lightest one. We are focusing on final states with jets and missing energy. The first results on data taken at 13 GeV of centre of mass energy have been presented here: ATLAS-CONF-2016-077. Read some details on the latest result on the ATLAS physics briefing on searching for sign of the stop.

I am now extending my contribution to the searches of Dark Matter particles: with PhD student Eddie Thorpe, we are searching for Dark Matter particles produced in association with heavy-flavour quarks. Results on data taken at 13 GeV of centre of mass energy will be presented soon to international conferences.

On the phenomenological front, I am founder and active member of the phenomenological collaboration UTfit that extracts fundamental parameters of the Standard Model from results obtained from all the present and past experiments and from the most updated theoretical calculations.

Seminars and Colloquia at PPRC and SPA

I am seminar organiser for the PPRC: see the list of our events

I have also organised three colloquia: Prof. Frank Close on Bruno Pontecorvo , Dr. Giuseppe Montano on the ExoMars Rover, Prof. James Olsen on the Higgs boson

Past research

Together with PhD student Greg Fletcher, we have been analysing the production of vector-bosons associated with jets using ATLAS data taken in 2010. These final states are crucial for calibration and background studies, but above all for QCD measurements. They can also represent an interesting handle to peek into new physics. Our papers are here: arXiv:1409.8639 and arXiv:1409.6510

I have worked in Flavour Physics since 1998 in the BaBar experiment at SLAC, California. I observed for the first time B decays decaying into two light hadrons (pions and/or kaons). I also contributed to the analyses towards the determination of the angle gamma of the unitarity triangle.

Teaching and Teaching-related Roles

Roles for the School of Physics and Astronomy:

Undergraduate teaching at QMUL:

Special tutorials or lectures

Past teaching:

  • Mathematical techniques I (2011-2012) for first years
  • Statistical Physics (2009-2013) for third years

Undergraduate Projects

Please see here for my list of Projects for Undergraduates.
It is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

Postgraduate teaching

For the University of London Intercollegiate Postgraduate Course in Elementary Particle Physics for first year PhD students:

Current PhD Students

  • Eddie Thorpe, working on a project on Dark Matter searches in ATLAS
  • Adelina D'Onofrio, working with Prof. Lucio Cerrito on top physics
  • Dave Lewis, working on a project on Supersymmetric searches in ATLAS

Past students

  • Dr Cristiano Alpigiani, with a project titled "Search for Rare B Decays into Two Muons with the ATLAS Detector", now in a research post-doctoral position with University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
  • Dr Greg Fletcher, with a project titled "A Measurement of W+jets/Z+jets with the ATLAS Detector", now a Data Scientist for Deloitte Risk Analytics, London

Invited talks in national and international conferences

2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Latest results from UTfit" and "Neutral charm mixing results from the UTfit collaboration", 9th International Workshop on the CKM Unitarity Triangle (CKM16), Mumbai, India, December 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Unitarity Triangle analysis in the Standard Model and beyond from UTfit", 2nd Conference Interplay between Particle and Astroparticle Physics (IPA 2016), Paris, France, September 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the IoP), "Project Juno: Advancing Gender Equality In Physics Careers In Higher Education In The UK", panel session and poster, 38th International Conference of High Energy Physics (ICHEP16), Chicago, USA, August 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), Updates from UTfit on the Unitarity Triangle and D mixing analyses and The Unitarity Triangle analysis beyond the Standard Model: updates from UTfit, 38th International Conference of High Energy Physics (ICHEP16), Chicago, USA, August 2016

- M. Bona, "Unitarity Triangle analysis in the SM and beyond from UTfit", Heavy Flavour 2016: Quo Vadis?, Islay, UK, July 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), "Study of rare B decays at ATLAS", Rare B decays, Theory and Experiment Workshop 2016, Barcelona, Spain, April 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS and CMS Collaboration), Spectroscopy and QCD in ATLAS and CMS, 11th Franco­-Italian Meeting on B Physics, Paris, France, April 2016

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), "Bs to mumu result from ATLAS", Institute of Physics joint annual HEPP and APP conference, Brighton, UK, March 2016

2015

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), "Recent B-physics results from ATLAS", 30th Lake Louise Winter Institute (LLWI 2015), Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, Feb 2015

2014

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Updates from UTfit" ,8th International Workshop on the CKM Unitarity Triangle (CKM'14), Vienna, Austria, Sep 2014

2013

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), "New physics searches with flavour in ATLAS", 21st International Conference on Supersymmetry and Unification of Fundamental Interactions (SUSY13), Italy, Aug 2013

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Updates from UTfit within and beyond the Standard Model", 21st International Conference on Supersymmetry and Unification of Fundamental Interactions (SUSY13), Italy, Aug 2013

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Status of the CKM picture in the light of recent results", Workshop on CP Violation in Elementary Particles and Composite Systems, India, Feb 2013

2012

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), UTfit analysis with a focus on new physics, talk given at the "Rencontres du Vietnam, Beyond the standard model in particle physics", held in Quy Nhon, Vietnam, July 19, 2012

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), Recent Heavy Flavour Results from ATLAS,  talk given at the "Rencontres du Vietnam, Heavy Ion Collisions in the LHC Era", held in Quy Nhon, Vietnam, July 19, 2012

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), Standard Model updates and new physics analysis with the Unitarity Triangle fit, talk given at the "Fourth Workshop on Theory, Phenomenology and Experiments in Flavour Physics", held in Anacapri, Italy, June 11, 2012

- M. Bona (on behalf of the ATLAS Collaboration), Flavour Physics Results from ATLAS, talk given at the "Fourth Workshop on Theory, Phenomenology and Experiments in Flavour Physics", held in Anacapri, Italy, June 11, 2012

2011

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Standard Model updates and new physics analysis with the Unitarity Triangle fit", talk given at the "International Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics 2011" (EPS11), held in Grenoble, France, July 22, 2011

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), "Flavour physics as a test of the standard model and a probe of new physics", talk given at the "First NExT PhD Workshop, held in Abingdon, UK, July 19, 2011

2010

- M. Bona (on behalf of the UTfit Collaboration), Standard Model updates and new physics analysis with the Unitarity Triangle fit, talk given at the "Flavor Physics & CP Violation 2010" (FPCP 2010) conference, held in Torino, Italy, May 25-29, 2010

Conference organisation

- Co-founder and co-organiser of the conference series Interplay between Particle and Astroparticle Physics (IPA): IPA2014, IPA2016

- September 2015: co-organiser of the conference QCD@LHC

- July 2014: co-organiser of the conference 50 years of CP violation

Grants

My research is/has been funded by the following grant awards:

- ATLAS Upgrade (STFC), 2016, [£15K]

- PPRC Consolidated Grant (STFC), 2015, [£2.6M]

- STFC QMUL HEP, PhD Studentships, (2016-2020)

- STFC QMUL HEP, PhD Studentships, (2013-2017)

- STFC QMUL HEP, PhD Studentships, (2008-2012)

- PPRC Rolling Grant (STFC), 2010, [£2.7M]

- PPRC Rolling Grant (STFC), 2009, [£1.3M]

- PPRC Rolling Grant (STFC), 2006, [£5.5M]

Diversity Engagements

Since 2012, I have been a leading member of the SPA Juno Committee. In 2012-2013 I chaired the committee and led the successful submission that gave SPA the Juno Practitioner status (2013). In 2013-2016 I have been deputy chair and my active participation contributed in successfully obtaining the Juno Champion and Athena Silver status (2015). I have been Juno and SPA representative at the Athena SWAN/SAT committees. I organised and participated to workshops and events regarding diversity studies:

Outreach

I have a long standing interest in public engagement in many different forms and have over the years built up an extended expertise in talking in layman terms about particle physics. Here below are some of my recent talks and qualifications

  • Official CERN guide since 2007: to visit CERN have a look at the Visit CERN page
  • February 2017, organised the PsiStar visit at CERN
  • September 2016, public lecture at the Odiham District University of Third Age titled "The world of elementary particles"
  • November 2015, public talk as a "scientific aperitif" at the Caffe Boglione, Bra, Italy
  • May 2015, Pint of Science talk in a London pub, titiled "Has the large hadron collider destroyed the world yet?"
  • My scientific photography portfolio

This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

 

Most popular publications

Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC
Aad, Georges et al.
Phys.Lett., Volume B716, page 1-29. Publication year: 2012

DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.020

The BaBar detector
Aubert, Bernard et al.
Nucl.Instrum.Meth., Volume A479, page 1-116. Publication year: 2002

DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(01)02012-5

Determination of Jet Energy Calibration and Transverse Momentum Resolution in CMS
Chatrchyan, Serguei et al.
JINST, Volume 6, page P11002. Publication year: 2011

DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/6/11/P11002

Jet energy measurement with the ATLAS detector in proton-proton collisions at $\sqrt{s}=7$ TeV
Aad, Georges et al.
Eur.Phys.J., Volume C73, page 2304. Publication year: 2013

DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-013-2304-2

Observation of CP violation in the $B^0$ meson system
Aubert, Bernard et al.
Phys.Rev.Lett., Volume 87, page 091801. Publication year: 2001

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.87.091801