Search for Heavy Resonances Decaying to Taus in 7 TeV Proton-Proton Collisions at the Large Hadron Collider
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Over the last few decades, the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics has been used as a means of understanding the world around us. However, there is an increasing amount of data that suggests the SM of particle physics only describes nature up to energies of the electroweak scale. Extensions to the SM have been developed as a means of explaining experimental observation. If these extensions are indeed the correct mathematical descriptions of nature, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland, is expected to produce new and exciting physics signatures that can shed light on the evolution of our universe since the early hypothesized Big Bang. Of particular interest are models that may lead to events with highly energetic tau lepton pairs. In this dissertation, focus is placed on a possible search for new heavy gauge bosons decaying to highly energetic tau pairs using a data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 36 pb^-1 of proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV collected with the CMS detector at the CERN LHC. The number of observed events in the data is in good agreement with the predictions for SM background processes. In the context of the Sequential SM, a Z0 with mass less than 468 GeV/c^2 is excluded at 95 percent credibility level, exceeding the sensitivity by the Tevatron experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Gurrola, Alfredo (2011). Search for Heavy Resonances Decaying to Taus in 7 TeV Proton-Proton Collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from