Properties of the Top Quark

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The aim of particle physics is the understanding of elementary particles and their interactions. The current theory of elementary particle physics, the Standard Model, contains twelve different types of fermions which (neglecting gravity) interact through the gauge bosons of three forces. In addition a scalar particle, the Higgs boson, is needed for theoretical consistency. These few building blocks explain all experimental results found in the context of particle physics, so far. Nevertheless, it is believed that the Standard Model is only an approximation to a more complete theory. First of all the fourth known force, gravity, has withstood all attempts ... continued below

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141 pages

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Wicke, Daniel August 1, 2009.

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Description

The aim of particle physics is the understanding of elementary particles and their interactions. The current theory of elementary particle physics, the Standard Model, contains twelve different types of fermions which (neglecting gravity) interact through the gauge bosons of three forces. In addition a scalar particle, the Higgs boson, is needed for theoretical consistency. These few building blocks explain all experimental results found in the context of particle physics, so far. Nevertheless, it is believed that the Standard Model is only an approximation to a more complete theory. First of all the fourth known force, gravity, has withstood all attempts to be included until now. Furthermore, the Standard Model describes several features of the elementary particles like the existence of three families of fermions or the quantisation of charges, but does not explain these properties from underlying principles. Finally, the lightness of the Higgs boson needed to explain the symmetry breaking is difficult to maintain in the presence of expected corrections from gravity at high scales. This is the so called hierarchy problem. In addition astrophysical results indicate that the universe consists only to a very small fraction of matter described by the Standard Model. Large fractions of dark energy and dark matter are needed to describe the observations. Both do not have any correspondence in the Standard Model. Also the very small asymmetry between matter and anti-matter that results in the observed universe built of matter (and not of anti-matter) cannot be explained until now. It is thus an important task of experimental particle physics to test the predictions of the Standard Model to the best possible accuracy and to search for deviations pointing to necessary extensions or modifications of our current theoretical understanding. The top quark was predicted to exist by the Standard Model as the partner of the bottom quark. It was first observed in 1995 by the Tevatron experiments CDF and D0 and was the last of the quarks to be discovered. As the partner of the bottom quark the top quark is expected to have quantum numbers identical to that of the other known up-type quarks. Only the mass is a free parameter. We now know that it is more than 30 times heavier than the next heaviest quark, the bottom quark. Thus, within the Standard Model all production and decay properties are fully defined. Having the complete set of quarks further allows to verify constraints that the Standard Model puts on the sum of all quarks or particles. This alone is reason enough to experimentally study the top quark properties. The high value of the top quark mass and its closeness to the electroweak scale has inspired people to speculate that the top quark could have a special role in the electroweak symmetry breaking. Confirming the expected properties of the top quark experimentally establishes the top quark as we expect it to be. Any deviation from the expectations gives hints to new physics that may help to solve the outstanding questions. In this review the recent results on top quark properties obtained by the Tevatron experiments CDF and D0 are summarized. At the advent of the LHC special emphasis is given to the basic measurement methods and the dominating systematic uncertainties. After a short introduction to the Standard Model and the experimental environment in the remainder of this chapter, Chapter 2 describes the current status of top quark mass measurements. Then measurments of interaction properties are described in Chapter 3. Finally, Chapter 4 deals with analyses that consider hypothetical particles beyond the Standard Model in the observed events.

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141 pages

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-HABIL-2009-01
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • DOI: 10.2172/979414 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 979414
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc934807

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  • August 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

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Wicke, Daniel. Properties of the Top Quark, report, August 1, 2009; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934807/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.