Scheme: Newton International Fellowships
Organisation: University of Manchester
Dates: Feb 2009-Mar 2010
Summary: The heaviest of all known elementary particles is the Top quark which was discovered in 1995 by the two experiments, D0 and CDF, at the Fermilab Tevatron near to Chicago. The Tevatron is a proton-antiproton collider which currently operates an energy of 2 TeV. The top quark was the last missing building block of the matter particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. Even though it is an elementary particle, i.e. without internal structure, it has a mass comparable to a gold atom. This amazing property lets it play a very special role. It decays very quickly before it can form bound states which makes it the only quark that can be studied as a ``bare`` quark. The top mass is similar to the mass expected for the yet unobserved Higgs boson. These extraordinary properties of the top quark might therefore be a window to new physics beyond the Standard Model.
Until today, the Tevatron is the only collider which is able to produce large number of top quarks. This unique data sample gives me the opportunity to study exciting questions. Does the top quark have the properties (e.g. spin) we expect from the Standard Model ? Are new particles, such as charged Higgs boson, produced in the decay of top quarks ? Do top and anti-top quarks have the same mass ? Is the production rate of top pair events in proton-antiproton collisions consistent with theoretical calculations ?
Studying these questions contributes significantly to our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics.