The LHCb experiment is one of the large LHC experiments at CERN in Geneva. It has been designed and optimized to study decays of b-hadrons and c-hadrons (particles containing a beauty or a charm quark).
Our group is mainly involved in the search for New Physics in rare decays of B-mesons. These decays are particularly interesting since they are suppressed in the Standard Model and New Physics can enter with comparable strength.
In particular, we performed measurements of electroweak penguin (b→sll) decays. One of the processes we study is the decay B0→K*μμ, where some of the measurements show a discrepancy with respect to Standard Model predictions. This is known in the literature as the "B0→K*μμ anomaly".
At the moment it is still not clear if this effect can be accommodated within the Standard Model with a large breaking of QCD factorization. In collaboration with the theory group of the University of Zurich we are studying new observables that can help us to disentangle genuine New Physics effects from QCD. We are also working on lepton flavour violating decays and searches for very weakly interacting long living particles.
The LHCb detector will be upgraded in the year 2018. This will allow us to increase the LHCb instantaneous luminosity of a factor of nearly five with respect to the nominal current LHCb setup. We are involved in the design and construction of the Upstream Tracker, a silicon based micro-strip tracking detector upstream of the LHCb magnet. This detector will be crucial for triggering in upgrade conditions.