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Title: New physics searches in the ZZ sector with the ATLAS experiment
Author: Barber, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 2317
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigates the prospects of measuring anomalous triple gauge boson couplings in the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The most general(V ZZ, V = Z, g) vertex is parametrised by four couplings, fV = Z,gi=4,5 , all of which are zero in the Standard Model. Non-zero couplings would manifest themselves as an excess of events in ZZ diboson channels, and, if observed, would be a direct probe of new physics beyond the Standard Model. A set of criteria are outlined to select events recorded by ATLAS in two such channels, ZZ to llll(l = e, mu) and ZZ to llnunu. With 1 fb-1 of integrated luminosity at a centre of mass energy of sqrt(s) = 7 TeV, ATLAS can expect to observe 10+/-1 events in the ZZ to llllchannel, with 0.5+0.9-0.2 background events. In the ZZ to llnunu channel, 6.2+/-0.7 signal events are expected, with a background of 1.9+2.0-0.2 events. The expected sensitivity of ATLAS to non-zero anomalous couplings is calculated by performing extended, unbinned maximum-likelihood fits to the Z boson transverse momentum spectrum. For 1 fb-1 of integrated luminosity at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV, ATLAS has the potential to place constraints on the coupling parameters of |fZi | < 0.06 and |fig | < 0.07 at the 95% confidence level. These limits assume a form factor with a cutoff of Lambda_FF = 1.2 TeV. As a prelude to ZZ observation, criteria are defined to select Z to ll(l = e, mu) events in the first 315 nb-1 of ATLAS pp collision data at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV. In total 57 events are observed in the electron channel, with 109 in the muon channel, leading to cross-section measurements of sigma (Z to ee) = 0.70+/-0.09 (stat)+/-0.10 (syst)+/-0.08 (lumi) pband sigma(Z to mumu) = 0.90+/-0.09 (stat) +/-0.07 (syst) +/-0.10 (lumi) pb, both of which are consistent with the Standard Model predictions. In addition, this thesis presents a summary of developments made to the Data Acquisition (DAQ) system of the ATLAS Semiconductor Tracker (SCT). These include the construction of a test system, involving a scaled-down version of the entire SCT readout chain. The test system was subsequently used to develop a number of new DAQ features, including a hardware-based event simulator and monitoring framework.
Supervisor: Batley, Richard Sponsor: Science and Technology Research Council (STFC) under STFC student number PPA/S/S/2006/04325
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: ATLAS ; Anomalous couplings ; LHC ; Electroweak ; Diboson