Nikhef researcher Keri Vos of Maastricht University has received an NWO-Vidi grant for her work on precision studies of heavy ‘beauty’ particles. This was announced by NWO on Thursday. These studies can help solve the mystery of the missing antimatter in the universe.
Vos hopes to find clues to hitherto unknown new particles and forces that may explain why the universe consists of matter while antimatter is absent. With her Vidi grant, she will study the decay of heavy so-called ‘beauty’ particles extremely precisely. These are particles containing a beauty quark, also known as a bottom quark. She will do this by combining measurements from the LHCb experiment at CERN with improved and new theoretical calculations. Inexplicable differences still exist between theoretical calculations and experimental observations of the decay of ‘beauty’ particles. These could be signs of new particles. But more research is needed to be sure. Vos will conduct this research in close collaboration with experimental physicists from the LHCb experiment to make the most of the available and future data.
“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” says Keri Vos. “This grant will allow me to set up my own research group at the interface between theory and experiment. I can’t wait to get started with my team and to learn more about the matter around us.”
Vos is part of Nikhef’s LHCb and Theory group, the Gravitational Waves and Fundamental Physics group at Maastricht University and the LHCb experiment at CERN.
NWO awarded a total of 97 Vidi grants of up to €800,000. These grants will allow the laureates to develop an innovative line of research over the next five years and build their own research group.