The top portal to discovery at the Large Hadron Collider
(Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB))
The top quark is the heaviest known elementary particle and was discovered only in 1995. Due to its extremely large mass, equivalent to a Gold atom, the top quark has the largest Yukawa coupling to the Standard Model Higgs boson and is also extremely sensitive to subtle and not-so-subtle signs of physics beyond the Standard Model.
After providing a historical perspective on the strategies and techniques that are used to identify the elusive top quarks, I will present how the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration has been looking for new physics beyond the Standard Model using the top quark sector. To do so, cutting edge analysis techniques are necessary. I will focus on the most recent results from the CMS experiment and will look forward towards the LHC discovery potential in the future.