Our people: Alice Alfonsi

‘There is always a new challenge’

Name? Alice Alfonsi

Birth year? I am going to keep that a secret. It started off as a joke, but now different research groups at Nikhef want to find out.

Job? Third year PhD student in the ATLAS group.

What does your research focus on? I look at the decay of Higgs boson to two muons.

Complicated? Yes, considerably. You see, we have to work back from two muons to the Higgs boson. The problem is that two muons originate from a completely different process as well. That process happens much more often than the decay of a Higgs boson. So before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of background noise.

Favourite part? That you are mentally stimulated. There is always a new challenge.

What keeps you awake at night? The fact that you have to produce and present a lot. If it’s one month of working like this it’s OK, but it’s often months in a row.

Life outside of Nikhef? I love photography. Sometimes I have paid commissions. For instance to take pictures at concerts or of models.

And? In October I went on a walking holiday on my own. With a tent, a backpack and my camera. I started off in Portugal and ended up 300 kilometres further on in Spain.

Dangerous? Not really, I grew up in Rome. That was also exciting sometimes.