Measuring ΔAfs at Manchester
Continuing previous work during my masters, I measured Δmd and Δms (LHCb-ANA-2011-104). I'm now moving on to measure ΔAfs, which is complementary to a DØ measurement (arXiv) which is currently 3.9σ from the standard model and could exhibit new physics. This measurement follows on from the previous Δm measurements as it uses the same dataset and fitting program, with only small modifications.
Masters Measuring B0 oscillations
For my Master's project with University of Southampton I spent September 2010 until May 2011 at CERN preparing for the measurement of Δmd and Δms, the B0s and B0d oscillation frequencies, using semi-leptonic data. I carried out the measurement during the next summer at CERN, funded by RAL. This is particularly hard when using a semi-leptonic channel like B0s→DsμνX, as the neutrino carries away a significant fraction of the momentum of the decay. Since the momentum is required to reconstruct the B lifetime, it is essential that this is correctly reconstructed in order to see the oscillation. To this end an internal note (CERN-LHCb-INT-2011-004) has been written where the various reconstruction methods are compared. The D mass distribution was fitted, while the B mass and log(IP) distributions were studied for background separation (CERN-LHCb-INT-2011-019). After a proper time correction method was chosen (k-factor), the effect of this correction on Δm was studied and an appropriate form of the acceptance function was found (CERN-LHCb-INT-2011-020). The resolution function was found to be best fitted by a sum of exponentials, this was convoluted analytically with the proper time distribution and written into a c++ RooFit PDF, found in the Erasmus/DeltaMsKimRooFit LHCb package along with the rest of the code for this analysis. This lays the foundation for measuring and Δmd and Δms (CERN-THESIS-2011-184).
B-→D0(Kπ)π- at RAL
In the summer of 2010 I worked at the Rutherford Appleton Labs' Particle Physics Department on the LHCb experiment. There I studied the first 1 pb-1 of data from the experiment. I developed a set of cuts to select the events and corresponding macros and scripts to strip, save, analyse, select and plot the correct events. Being one of first to find a B hadronic decay in real data I got a couple of the plots I had produced for 300 nb-1 approved to be presented at the CKM 2010 conference.
Below are the aforementioned plots, they show the reconstructed B and D mass for the B-→D0(Kπ)π- decay and its charge conjugated decay. Using the number of signal events in the second graph, the cross section of pp→bb can be calculated.
In 2009-2010 I was the webmaster of the Physics Society at the University of Southampton. I wrote and launched their current website. It it's currently maintained by Alex Pearce. For more info on physoc check out their website.
As part of the third year of my combined masters degree at Southampton University, I have written a dissertation on the ALICE Experiment at CERN. ALICE among other things is looking for the QGP, I describe the physics of this state of matter at a level suitable for undergraduates, along with its detection signatures. I also cover a brief history of QGP detection at SPS and RHIC and then move onto an overview of the ALICE detector.
Over the summer of 2009 I interned at Frankfurt University, where I further developed a program by Frederick Kramer, to copy the configuration data of the TRD detector to a File Exchange Server at the start and end of each run. At the end of the run, two generated XML files are picked up by the shuttle and converted into a ROOT object which was stored in the OCDB. This ROOT object is then used later for reconstruction and analysis of the events. The configuration data includes things like the number of pretrigger events, the types of components in use in the detector and the setup of the software that controls the TRD.
This requires a program running on the online side of the experiment called the fxsproxy, which runs in the pit at point 2 of CERN, the source of which is available below. Additionally changes were made to the TRD Pre-Processor, a part of AliRoot. The shuttle calls the TRD Pre-Processor and it's here that an XML parser parses the configuration and it is saved to the OCDB.
EWS2SMTP, also know as EWS2SMPT as I like to mis-spell SMTP, is a program that pulls emails from Microsoft Exchange servers that use Outlook Web Access(OWA) through the provided SOAP API. I use this for my university email as the people in charge believe only computer science students need IMAP access. Below is the source and the compiled binaries along with a sample config. Once it has your email it can send it on through either SMTP or sendmail. It's written in C# and so will need .NET or mono installed, SMTP with SSL/TLS only works under .NET as some functions of the SSL certificate handling doesn't work under mono.
There is some help for the program's crazy config in the config file it's self and also in "mono EWS2SMTP.exe --help" on unix and "EWS2SMTP /?" for you windows users. For any help drop me an email, thomas-ews2smtp and the domain is mail.thomasbird.com
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I wrote a program to display a clock and set off an alarm at given times. This was running on a little toshiba libretto laptop for about two years until daily its motherboard died.
This program was designed to have next to no dependencies (except ncurses and mpg123) and run on very old hardware. It looks retro but in a cool way with ASCII art graphics and a simple playlist management for the music which the alarm plays. It can also be used as a small jukebox, although there is probably better software for this.
Compiling should be as simple as "./configure && make" after which the executable is in the src directory. It'll read a playlist file from somewhere along with a crontab like file for when the alarms should go off, so these need to be present for it to work, examples are provided.
Papers, Posters, Presentations
First, here are some general links to find items with my name on
Below are specific physics presentations, posters and papers I have written and given.
Proper time for semileptonics, acceptance functions, resolution functions, and k-factors
(LHCb Internal Note), August 2011 CDS Record
Internal note by Andrianala, F ; Bird, T ; Easo, S ; Lambert, R W
2D mass-IP fits in Semileptonic Decays of Neutral B-Mesons at LHCb
(LHCb Internal Note), August 2011 CDS Record
Internal note by Andrianala, F ; Bird, T ; Lambert, R W
Towards Measuring B Mixing in Semileptonic Decays at LHCb
(Masters Thesis), May 2011 CDS Record
My masters thesis covering the reconstruction of the neutrino momentum and fitting the B proper time and D mass distributions.
Towards semileptonic B mixing at LHCb
(Presentation), April 2011 Indico Page
Talk given at IOP NPPD 2011 on the progress of measuring B mixing at LHCb with semileptonic decays.
Time dependent semileptonic studies: correcting for missing momentum and the effect of multiple interactions
(LHCb Internal Note), January 2011 CDS Record
Internal note by Bird, T ; Easo, S ; Kerzel, U ; Lambert, R W ; Vervink, K
Beauty and Charm at LHCb: selecting B-→D0(Kπ)π- decays
(Poster), October 2010 Download (PDF)
A poster with the results from my summer work at RAL.
High temperature superconductor
(Poster), May 20th 2010 Download (PDF)
A poster showing the creation of a superconductor called YCBO and an experiment to determine it's superconducting temperature using AC magnetic susceptibility.
The ALICE Experiment
(Dissertation), January 15th 2010 Download (PDF)
This covered the physics behind ALICE and some history as well as the actual machine.
(Presentation), September 18th 2009 Download (PDF)
A presentation given by me at the end of my summer placement in Frankfurt.
For all those potential employers, checking me out, here is my CV as a pdf.