Evidence for the rare process tZq en CMS

Two researchers from CIEMAT, Dr. Mara Senghi and Mar Barrio, physicists from the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment at CERN, have found evidence for the existence of a very rare process resulting from proton proton collisions at the LHC in Geneva (Switzerland), using data collected by the CMS detector in 2016.

The process under study corresponds to the simultaneous production of a top quark and a Z boson, accompanied by a quark (tZq). An appealing feature of this process is the fact that it is sensitive to new physics. Using multivariate analysis techniques, Mar and Mara found evidence of these rare events among millions of other particles.

The measured production rate of this process is compatible with the standard model prediction, which shows the remarkable power of the standard model to predict and describe well proton-proton interactions at the energies operated at the LHC. The analysis, led by these two women, was carried out with the collaboration from fellow researchers from Strasbourg (France).

The CMS collaboration, composed by about 3000 researchers, is  organized in working groups in which the scientific results concerning  similar topics are discussed and scrutinized before they are made public. In fact, the top quark working group from CMS, in which the tZq analysis is englobed, is currently led by Dr. María Aldaya and Dr. Rebeca González Suárez, two Spanish women hired by different research institutes from abroad.

In spite of the large gender gap still existing in technical fields, Spanish women are playing a key role in the development of science, leading cutting-edge research in the most important centers in the world.