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Research team from Texas A&M at Qatar to continue collaboration with CERN

Published Jul 15, 2022

A research team led by Dr. Othmane Bouhali, the director of research computing and a research professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar, is taking part in the next phase of experiments (called Run3) on CERN's Large Hardon Collider (LHC). 

The Qatar team was awarded with the National Priorities Research Program Blue Skies Research Award (NPRP-BSRA) from Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to play an important role in this project, which is being done in collaboration with Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Qatar University. 

After almost two years of being shut down, the LHC is now having new technologies installed in the accelerator and detector to push the discovery potential of the machine. The next phase of experiments started 5 July, and the Qatar team is taking part in physics analysis, phenomenology and also application of AI in detector monitoring, anomaly detection and physics analysis. The LHC has two general-purpose detectors: ATLAS and CMS. Both are used in an ongoing program to study details of the Higgs boson, a particle that was predicted in the 1960s by Peter Higgs, François Englert and Robert Brout as a mechanism to explain the mass of particles. The two detectors are also used to study extra dimensions and particles that could make up dark matter.

Bouhali has been an integral part of the Qatar team in the CERN High Energy Physics group since its inception. The team, made available by QNRF funding since 2010, has made significant contributions to the 2011-2020 upgrade project of CERN’s LHC, leading to the installation of new detector technology. 25 TAMUQ students have been involved in the Qatar team, and have sent eight of our Qatari students to CERN for summer internships. Additionally, QNRF has been acknowledged in more than 300 publications by the CMS international collaboration. 

Along with all the international contributions, the work has also benefited the local community. Collaborations with local hospitals have allowed for successful implementations and improvements in cancer and brain tumor imaging, internal dosimetry, radiation therapy and new imaging technologies.