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Spin correlations: Tevatron vs. LHC

Gregory Mahlon (Penn State Mont Alto)
Arxiv ID: 1007.1716Last updated: 3/2/2022
We compare theoretical expectations for the observation of spin correlations in top quark pair production and decay at the Fermilab Tevatron and the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In particular, we note that the differing top quark pair production mechanisms in the two environments test different aspects of the Standard Model and require different strategies to observe the correlations. At the Tevatron, production is dominated by q qbar --> t tbar and the strategy is to construct a double-decay angle distribution where one decay angle is measured in the t rest frame and the other in the tbar rest frame. The dominant process at the LHC is gg --> t tbar, with a rich spin structure that allows for a second option in observing spin correlations. Here the strategy is to select events where the t tbar pair is produced at relatively low velocity in the zero momentum frame (ZMF). For these events, there are strong azimuthal correlations between t and tbar decay products present. This measurement enjoys the advantage that it can be carried out in the laboratory frame.

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