Infoscience

Thesis

Direct search for Higgs boson in LHCb and contribution to the development of the vertex detector

The LHCb experiment (Large Hadron Collider beauty) is one of the four experiments under construction at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN near Geneva. It is planned to start in 2007 and its goal is the study of b-quark physics. The LHC is a circular accelerator in which collide protons-protons at a center-of-mass energy of √s = 14 TeV. This generates a large number of high energy bb pairs which are predominantly produced in the same forward cone. The LHCb detector is therefore a forward single arm spectrometer designed to exploit the large bb production cross section (σbb   500 μb) and to perform precise measurements of CP violation in b-hadrons decays. One of the actual greatest challenges in High Energy Physics is the discovery of the Higgs boson which is responsible for the Model Standard particles mass generation through the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking process. The Higgs mass is not known and cannot be predicted by the theory. However the recent results of LEP at CERN have shown that mH0 > 114 GeV/c2. Below   150 GeV/c2 the Higgs decay into two b-quarks H0 → bb dominates. The two quarks emitted back-to-back in the H0 rest frame form a string which fragments, giving rise to hadronization in jets containing b-hadrons. The aim of this thesis is to assess the feasibility to discover a Higgs boson with intermediate mass at LHCb by using the detector sensibility to b-hadrons in order to reconstruct these jets using jets reconstruction algorithms. The study is focused on the mechanisms in which the Higgs boson is produced in association with a gauge boson decaying leptonically H0 + W± → bb + ℓνℓ and H0 + Z0 → bb + ℓ+ℓ- for Higgs masses in the range 100 - 130 GeV/c2. The gauge bosons decay produces hard leptons quite often isolated from the b-jets. Hence an isolated lepton with high transverse momentum is required in order to reject the large QCD background. Several important background channels which also provide two b-quarks and an isolated lepton – like tt → W+b W-b, Z0 + W± → bb + ℓνℓ, Z0 + Z0 → bb + ℓ+ℓ-, W± + b-jets, Z0 + b-jets and generic bb – are studied in parallel. The idea is to find observables which behave differently for backgrounds and Higgs signal and to exploit these differences in the framework of a neural network, precisely in order to discriminate background from signal. The LHCb experiment needs a high capability to identify b-hadrons despite their very short lifetime τB   1.5 · 10-12 s. The Vertex Locator (VeLo) is a sub-detector placed around the p-p interaction point which has to provide accurate measurements of the b-hadrons production and decay points by reconstructing secondary vertices. The second part of this thesis is a technical contribution to the development of the VeLo analogue transmission line. It consists in testing several hardware and software methods to improve the VeLo analogue transmission between the on-detector part of the readout and the off-detector electronics. Because the   60 m line introduces an important attenuation, several cables and line drivers configurations with frequency and gain compensation are studied in order to obtain the best results in terms of signal-to-noise ratio and channel crosstalk. The different contributions to the noise are also studied and an estimation of the contribution due to the Beetle pipeline non-uniformity is given in order to see if a specific correction is needed or if it can be suppressed by a standard common noise correction procedure.

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