Dr. Margaret Lutz
Dr. Margaret Lutz
Postdoctoral Scholar
At Tel Aviv University

Dr. Lutz’ PhD in physics is from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she searched for Hidden Sector particles that decayed into displaced hadronic jets in the ATLAS detector. (ATLAS is one of the four major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, Switzerland.) In the Department of Particle Physics at Tel Aviv University, she plans to devise a trigger algorithm sensitive to physics that existing algorithms are largely blind to: new particles which are produced in decays of the Higgs boson (a fundamental particle discovered in 2012), which then travel for several centimeters before decaying within the ATLAS inner detector. To maximize the sensitivity, she will focus on Higgs production via gluon-gluon-fusion, as this is the dominant production mechanism for the Higgs, yet is also challenging to trigger on, due to the relatively little energy left in the detector. To address this challenge, her trigger algorithm will utilize the key properties of such displaced decays.

While working as a teaching assistant (for which she received a teaching award), she was offered the position of head lab TA for an introductory mechanics course. The offer was withdrawn due to lack of funding, but she volunteered nonetheless to take on the extra duties involved. She also served as the lone graduate student representative on the US ATLAS committee on Diversity and Inclusion.