Measurement of Electroweak Gauge Boson Scattering in the Channel pp → W ± W ± jj with the ATLAS Detector at the Large Hadron Collider

by Christian Gumpert

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Department: Fakultät Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1098908
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-162847


Particle physics deals with the elementary constituents of our universe and their interactions. The electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism in the Standard Model of Particle Physics is of paramount importance and it plays a central role in the physics programmes of current high-energy physics experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. The study of scattering processes of massive electroweak gauge bosons provides an approach complementary to the precise measurement of the properties of the recently discovered Higgs boson. Owing to the unprecedented energies achieved in proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider and the large amount of data collected, experimental studies of these processes become feasible for the first time. Especially the scattering of two W± bosons of identical electric charge is considered a promising process for an initial study due to its distinct experimental signature. In the course of this work, 20.3 fb−1 of proton-proton collision data recorded by the ATLAS detector at a centre-of-mass energy of √s = 8 TeV are analysed. An analysis of the production of two W± bosons of identical electric charge in association with two jets, pp → W ± W ± jj, is conducted in the leptonic decay channel of the W± bosons. Thereby, emphasis is put on the development of methods for the estimation of experimental backgrounds as well as on the optimisation of the event selection. As a result of this work, first experimental evidence for the existence of the aforementioned process is established with an observed significance of 4.9. Based on the number of observed events in the selected phase space the extracted fiducial cross section is σ(fid) = (2.3 ± 0.5(stat.) +0.4/−0.3 (sys.)) fb which is in agreement with the prediction of the Standard Model of σ(fid,SM) = (1.6 ± 0.2) fb. Of particular theoretical interest are electroweak contributions to the pp → W ± W ± jj process due to their sensitivity to the nature of the electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism. Criteria for a dedicated event selection are investigated and implemented in the analysis with the goal of enhancing the sensitivity to these contributions. First experimental evidence for the presence of electroweak contributions to the pp → W ± W ± jj process can be claimed with an observed significance of 4.1. The cross section extracted in the selected phase space region is found to be σ(fid) = (1.7 +0.5/−0.4 (stat.) ± 0.3(sys.)) fb which is 1.3 standard deviations above the theoretical prediction of the Standard Model of σ(fid,SM) = (1.0 ± 0.1) fb. A variety of extensions to the Standard Model predict modifications to the electroweak gauge sector. In the context of the electroweak chiral Lagrangian, which serves as an effective approximation of these theories in the energy regime E = 1 − 3 TeV, anomalous contributions to the quartic WWWW gauge coupling can be described by the parameters α4 and α5 . The selection of events is optimised again to enhance the sensitivity to these two parameters. On the basis of the number of events observed in this…