Research Area(s): Particle Physics
Heather attended the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 1999-2005 where she obtained a BSc, BSc (Hons) and then a MSc in Physics. She then attended the California Institute of Technology and obtained her Ph.D. in Physics in 2011. She then worked at CERN as a Research Fellow and Research Staff Scientist from 2011-2017 before moving to LBNL as a Divisional Fellow in 2017. Heather joined the UC Berkeley faculty as assistant professor in 2019. She received the IUPAP C11 Young Scientist Prize in 2018.
I am an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just outside Geneva in Switzerland. I have broad interests in particle physics, but the primary focus of my research is the Higgs boson -- the most recently discovered elementary particle, the only known elementary scalar of nature and the final piece of the remarkably successful Standard Model. However, this discovery leaves many imporatnt questions unanswered and uncovers further questions. The Higgs is not just another particle. It is profoundly different from all other elementary particles, relates to the most obscure sectors of the Standard Model and is linked to some of the deep questions, so it might prove to be a portal to find new physics. I study the properties of the Higgs boson and, in particular, how it interacts with different types of quarks, including top, bottom and charm quarks. Other research interests include the development of track reconstruction algorithms, silicon detectors and algorithms for quantum computers. A theme throughout my research is applications of machine learning.
I collaborate with Professors Marjorie Shapiro and Haicheln Wang at UC Berkeley and with scientists in the ATLAS group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The ATLAS group at LBNL works on a broad range of physics topics from measurements to the Standard Model to searches for new physics. The group also plays important roles in the operation of the ATLAS pixel detectors, design and construction of upgraded silicon detectors, software development for improved detector performance, event generation, simulation, and computing.
ATLAS Collaboration, Observation of Higgs boson production in association with a top quark pair at the LHC with the ATLAS detector, Phys. Lett. B 784 (2018) 173
ATLAS Collaboration, Evidence for the associated production of the Higgs boson and a top quark pair with the ATLAS detector, Phys. Rev. D 97 (2018) 072003
ATLAS Collaboration, Search for decay of the Higgs boson to charm quarks with ATLAS experiment, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120 (2018) 211802
ATLAS Collaboration, Study of the material of the ATLAS inner detector for Run 2 of the LHC, JINST 11 (2016) P11020
ATLAS Collaboration, Performance of the ATLAS Track Reconstruction Algorithms in Dense Environments in LHC run 2, EPJC 77 (2017) 673
ATLAS Collaboration, Jet reconstruction and performance using particle flow with the ATLAS Detector, (2017), EPJC 77 (2017) 466
ATLAS Collaboration, Charged-particle distributions at low transverse momentum in √s=13 TeV pp interactions measured with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, Eur. Phys. J. C 76 (2016) 502
ATLAS Collaboration, Charged-particle distributions in √s=13 TeV pp interactions measured with the ATLAS detector at the LHC*, Phys. Lett. B (2016), Vol. 758, pp. 67-88
ATLAS and CMS Collaborations, Measurements of the Higgs boson production and decay rates and constraints on its couplings from a combined ATLAS and CMS analysis of the LHC pp collision data at √s = 7 and 8 TeV, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 (2015) 191803
ATLAS Collaboration, Search for the bb decay of the Standard Model Higgs boson in associated (W/Z)H production with the ATLAS detector, JHEP (2015), 069
ATLAS Collaboration, A neural network clustering algorithm for the ATLAS silicon pixel detector, JINST 9 (2014) P09009.
ATLAS Collaboration, Measurements of Higgs production and couplings using diboson final states with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, Phys. Lett. B 726 (2013), pp. 88-119.
ATLAS Collaboration, Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, Phys. Lett. B 716 (2012) 1-29