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HiggsTools

This is the web site of HiggsTools, an Initial Training Network (ITN) supported by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission.

The network contract PITN-GA-2012-316704 was concluded between the European Commission and the consortium on 1st January 2014 with duration of 48 months.

Partners

HiggsTools consists of 10 Full Partners and 10 Associated Partners from European Universities and Research Institutes, one International Organisation (CERN), and 5 Associated Partners from the private sector.

Objectives of the Training Programme

The main goal of the project is to provide excellent initial training to young researchers in the field of high energy particle physics, paving the road for new discoveries about the fundamental nature of the Universe at a time when new discoveries are expected, and when the new Standard Model of Particle Physics is going to be forged.

Objectives of the Research Programme

The research goal of HiggsTools is the investigation of electroweak symmetry breaking. This question lies at the very frontier of knowledge of theoretical particle physics and phenomenology and, in fact, the primary goal of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is to unveil the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking.

During the period of the network it is certain that the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking will be further decoded and that the theoretical ideas that date back to 1964 will either be confirmed or supplemented through the discovery of new additional particles that contribute to it. The experiments at the LHC have already made an impressive step forward in answering this question, by discovering a particle that is looking more and more like a Higgs boson. It remains an open question, however, whether this is the Higgs boson of the Standard Model of particle physics, or possibly the lightest of several bosons predicted in some theories that go beyond the Standard Model. Finding the answer to this question will take time. The outcome of the Higgs studies at the LHC will either carve our present understanding of electroweak interactions in stone or will be the beginning of a theoretical revolution.

Positions

We will therefore create a cohort of 21 early-stage researchers (ESR) who will all be in the network for the same 36 month period and therefore be able to obtain the full benefit from the training provided by the network. 500 person-months of early-stage researchers will be funded by the EU according to the rules of the People FP7 Programme. The remaining 256 person-months will be funded from local sources.