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Anja Beck

I am a Ph.D. student in the Warwick LHCb group supervised by Dr. Thomas Blake and Dr. Michal Kreps.

A little feed of things I do

Radiative Decays @LHCb Workshop

While my main PhD project is about Λb→pK-μ+μ- decays, I am also finishing an analysis of the radiative decay Λb→pK-ɣ which I worked on during my master thesis. I presented the status of the analysis at the 5th radiative decays @LHCb workshopLink opens in a new window in Valencia in April.

Moriond Electroweak Conference 2023

I gave a Young Scientist Talk the Moriond Electroweak conference in March 2023. I presented the recent measurement of the branching fraction (ie. how often does something happen?) of Λb→Λ(1520)μ+μ- decays. On top, I spoke about how we can use the full pK spectrum in an angular analysis which we studied in our pheno paper.
You can find the conference website hereLink opens in a new window and my talk hereLink opens in a new window.

Phenomenology publication

As explained a bit further below, I spend most of my time looking at Λb→pK-μ+μ- decays. The pK spectrum in these decays is very rich and makes the interpretation of measurements quite complicated. From the beginning of my PhD, I studied the phenomenological aspects of the angular structures which helped us gain experience for the LHCb analysis and will help to interpret its results in the future. These studies have been completed in autumn and have finally been published in the Journal of High Energy Physics. I know it's quite technical, but we have the prettiest plots: JHEP 02 (2023) 189Link opens in a new window

German Conference for Women in Physics 2022

In November 2022, I attended the German Conference for Women in Physics at the Karlsruhe Insitute for Technology. I lead a workshop on mental health in academia (find the abstract hereLink opens in a new window).

Getting a PhD against many odds

In many countries, first-generation students are underrepresented at universities. The German education-centered magazine SonarLink opens in a new window interviewed me about my journey from being the first person in my family getting the Abitur (German equivalent of A-levels) to being a researcher at the biggest human-made laboratory. You can read the article (in German) hereLink opens in a new window.

LHCb commissioning

In 2022, the LHC restarts after several years of shut-down. During the break, a lot of the LHCb detector was upgraded for the higher luminosity of the LHC in the future. I am currently helping to commission our upgraded detector.

Flavour physics workshop

In April 2022, I presented my studies related to Λb→pK-μ+μ- in the Flavor at the CrossroadsLink opens in a new window Workshop in Mainz (Germany).

Warwick Three Minute Thesis final 2021

I participated in Warwick's internal Three Minute Thesis competition where PhD students summarize their PhD project in three minutes aimed at the general public. The title of my presentation was:
Particle post and messenger pigeons - How do fundamental particles interact?

Main project: rare decays at LHCb: Λb→pK-μ+μ-

The Standard Model of particle physics has been the dominant theory of elementary particles and their interactions since its development around 50 years ago. But the evermore precise measurements of recent years deviate from the Standard Model predictions. These deviations possibly caused by New Physics are small. And because it may be easier to find the needle in a small hay stack, physicists look for New Physics in decays that are rare (instead of abundant) in the Standard Model.

The decay of a bottom quark to a strange quark and two oppositely charged muons, b→sμ+μ-, is a very commonly studied rare decay. Due to colour confinement though, this quark-level transition can never be observed directly. Instead, physicists must look at decays of a b hadron to an s hadron, like in my case Λb→Λ*μ+μ-. Because the Λ* resonance decays instantly, we can only see its children, a proton and a kaon, in the detector. A special feature of the decay Λb→pK-μ+μ- is that there are many Λ* resonances that are difficult to disentangle experimentally.

What happened previously

I grew up in the Allgäu region in the South of Germany and obtained my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in physics from TU Dortmund. Between those degrees, I studied for one year at Umeå Universitet and participated in the DESY Summerschool working on thermal resilience tests for a new tracking detector to be installed in the ATLAS upgrade for the LHC high-luminosity phase. For my master thesis, I was part of Johannes Albrecht's group analysing Λb→pK-ɣ decays at LHCb in collaboration with researchers at IJCLab Orsay where I spent several months during the research phase.

Anja Beck

(Foto taken at Moriond 2023 by Freya Blekman)

Contact Details

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Office: PS0.01

LinkedInLink opens in a new window

LHCb Social Media

I am one of the managers of the official LHCb Instagram account. Come and have a look at all the cool things LHCb does:
@lhcbexperimentLink opens in a new window