Experimental Particle Physics

Since February 2021, Cristina Botta is an SNF PRIMA professor at our institute. Cristina is an experimental particle physicist, member of the CMS experiment collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) since 2008.

She received her PhD in physics in 2011 from the University of Torino, Italy. After her experience as Research Fellow and Staff at the CERN Experimental Physics Department (2012-2019), she has been awarded an SNF PRIMA grant to create a research team within our CMS experiment group.

For many years, Cristina’s research activity focused on the design of analysis strategies to discover the Higgs boson and then measure its properties. In 2018, she received the CMS Young Researcher Prize for ‘her crucial and sustained contributions to the search for, and subsequently the measurement of, the Higgs boson via its decay into two Z bosons, and in the observation of the Higgs boson in association with top quarks’.

In 2015, when the LHC started to provide higher energy collisions to the experiments, Cristina’s research interest shifted towards direct searches for Dark Matter, and she coordinated the CMS analysis group working on Supersymmetry (SUSY) searches in leptonic final states. Together with her recently formed team, she is currently carrying out searches for SUSY in compressed spectra, an experimentally challenging region of the parameter space where SUSY can still be light.

With the upcoming High-Luminosity LHC project (2025-2035), she has joined in 2017 the effort towards the upgrade of the CMS L1 Trigger. The L1 Trigger logic and architecture, instrumented by custom hardware processor boards, need to be completely redesigned to face the high luminosity challenge. Cristina is leading the L1 Trigger Detector Performance Group, which is in charge of developing new trigger algorithms and studying their performance in order to take final decisions on the design and implementation of the new trigger system. In January 2021 she has been awarded by CMS in recognition of her current achievements in this research area.

Her group is heavily involved in the CMS L1 Trigger operations and upgrade: from the coordination of the CMS L1 Trigger Menu design and implementation, to the development of new trigger algorithms for  electrons identification in the experimentally challenging environment of HL-LHC, to the firmware emulation of the HL-LHC Global Trigger.