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Title: At the frontier of precision QCD in the LHC era
Author: Karlberg, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 8623
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis discusses recent advances in precision calculations of quantum chromodynamics and their application to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) physics program and beyond. The first half of the thesis is dedicated to the study of vector boson fusion Higgs (VBF) production; fully differential at the next-to-next-to-leading order level (NNLO), and inclusively at next-to-next-to-next-to-leading order (N3LO). Both calculations are performed in the structure function approximation, where the VBF process is treated as a double deep inelastic scattering. For the differential calculation a new subtraction method, "projection-to-Born", is introduced and applied. We study VBF production in a number of scenarios relevant for the LHC and for Future Circular Colliders (FCC). We find NNLO corrections after typical cuts of 5-6% while differential distributions show corrections of up to 10-12% for some standard observables. For the inclusive calculation we find N3LO corrections at the order of 1-2‰. The second half of the thesis presents recent results on the matching of fixed order calculations with parton showers. We first present the POsitive Weight Hardest Emission Generator (POWHEG) method for matching next-to-leading order (NLO) calculations with parton showers. We then proceed to apply it to the case of vector boson fusion ZZjj production and discuss the results for scenarios relevant for the LHC and a possible FCC. In order to present the matching of a NNLO calculation with a parton shower, we next discuss the Multi-Scale Improved NLO (MiNLO) procedure. By applying a reweighting procedure to MiNLO improved Drell-Yan production, we obtain a generator which is NNLO accurate when integrated over all radiation while providing a fully exclusive description of the final state phase space. We compare the calculation to dedicated next-to-next-to-leading logarithm resummations and find very good agreement. The generator is also found to be in good agreement with 7 and 8 TeV LHC data.
Supervisor: Teper, Michael ; Zanderighi, Giulia Sponsor: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Quantum chromodynamics ; Perturbative Calculations ; Precision QCD ; Higgs