Measurement of the branching fractions of the Tau into leptons with L3 detector at LEP

by Ziegler, Frank

Abstract (Summary)
This is a study of the decays of the heaviest known lepton, the tau, into the two lighter leptons, electron or muon. From tau pairs produced at the LEP storage ring in electron-positron annihilation the leptonic branching fractions of the tau, B_{l=e,\mu}=\frac{\Gamma(tau\to\nu_tau l\bar{\nu}_l)}{\Gamma_{tot}}, are measured. The analysis was performed using the full LEP I data sample collected with the L3 detector at centre-of-mass energies around the Z mass. Within about 160000 selected tau decays the leptonic decays were identified and the branching fractions are measured as: B_e = (17.806 \pm 0.104_{stat} \pm 0.076_{sys})B_\mu = (17.342 \pm 0.110_{stat} \pm 0.067_{sys}). It is used to test the electron-muon universality in the weak charged current couplings: \frac {g_\mu}{g_e} = 1.0007 \pm 0.0051 . The ratio of the couplings of electron and muon is in excellent agreement with the Standard Model assumption of 1. Using the Standard Model prediction for the leptonic decay width, \Gamma(tau\to\nu_tau l\bar{\nu}_l), the tau lifetime is determined, precisely confirming direct measurements. Together with the L3 measurement of the tau lifetime the universality in the couplings at the Wl\bar{\nu}_l vertex is verified for g_tau/g_\mu and g_tau/g_e at a level of 6 permille. The ratio of hadronic to leptonic tau decay width, R_tau, is calculated from the measured leptonic branching fractions, and a value of the QCD coupling constant is extracted:\alpha _s(m_tau) = 0.324~\pm~0.009_{exp}~\pm~0.017_{theory}. The value obtained by evolving \alpha_s(m_tau) to the Z mass, \alpha_s(m_\z)= 0.1191~\pm~0.0009_{exp}~\pm~0.0019_{theory}, agrees very well with direct measurements and confirms the predicted running of \alpha_s. An upper limit for the mass of the tau neutrino, m_{\nu_{tau}}, is estimated from a comparison of the measured leptonic tau decay rate to a prediction as a function of m_{\nu_tau}: m_{\nu_tau} < 107 MeV (at 95% confidence level) The ratio of B_\mu to B_e is sensitive to the couplings to a charged Higgs doublet and allows to set a limit on the mass of the charged Higgs boson m_{H^{\pm}} > 1.0 \tan \beta GeV (at 95\% confidence level), where \tan \beta is the ratio of the vacuum expectation values of the two Higgs doublets.
This document abstract is also available in German.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

School Location:Germany

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Leptonen Verzweigungsverhältnisse Leptons Branching Fractions


Date of Publication:04/20/2000

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