Third generation fermions as probes of new physics
This thesis concerns the properties of two particles, the top quark and the tau lepton, the heaviest of the quarks and leptons, respectively, in the standard model of elementary particle physics. After a chapter introducing the standard model, the second concerns the tau lepton. Amongst all the quarks and leptons, the tau has the unique property that its polarisation can readily be measured at high energy colliders. We propose and develop new methods of using this unique property to search for new physics, such as Higgs bosons, and also for making an accurate measurement of the polarisation of taus produced via Z decay leading to a precision determination of the electroweak coupling. The third chapter of this thesis concerns the top quark. We perform the complete one- loop radiative corrections to the helicity amplitudes within the standard model. Even though the radiative corrections to top quark production and decay have already been calculated separately, our work makes it possible to combine the sequence of events by keeping full information on the correlations among final state particles.