The CMS team at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has measured the mass of the top quark, the heaviest known elementary particle, with unprecedented precision. With an accuracy of 0.22 percent, the latest CMS study calculates the value of the top-quark mass. New analysis methods and enhanced procedures to consistently and simultaneously treat diverse uncertainties in the measurement account for the significant increase in inaccuracy.
Understanding our environment at the tiniest scale necessitates a detailed understanding of the top-quark mass. Knowing as much as possible about this heaviest elementary particle is critical because it allows verification of the internal consistency of the Standard Model, which is a mathematical description of all elementary particles.
The Standard Model, for example, can predict the top-quark mass if the masses of the W and Higgs bosons are known precisely. The W-boson mass can also be calculated using the top-quark and Higgs-boson masses. Surprisingly, despite significant advances, the top quark’s theoretical-physics definition of mass, which involves the effect of quantum-physics corrections, remains elusive.
Surprisingly, our understanding of the Higgs-boson and top-quark masses is dependent on our combined knowledge of their masses. With the precision of existing top-quark mass measurements, we only know that the cosmos is very close to a metastable condition. The cosmos would be less stable in the long run if the top-quark mass was even slightly different, and it may eventually vanish in a catastrophic event similar to the Big Bang.
Using data from proton-proton LHC collisions gathered by the CMS detector in 2016, the CMS team identified five different attributes of collision events in which a pair of top quarks are created, rather than the up to three qualities that had previously been measured in earlier analyses. The top-quark mass affects these qualities.
In addition, the team did a highly precise calibration of the CMS data and got a thorough knowledge of the remaining experimental and theoretical uncertainties, as well as their interdependencies. All of these uncertainties were extracted using this novel method during the mathematical fit that determines the final value of the top-quark mass, allowing some of the uncertainties to be approximated considerably more precisely. The result, 171.770.38 GeV, is consistent with prior measurements and Standard Model predictions.
With this novel method for measuring top-quark mass, CMS cooperation has achieved a huge step forward. The measurement has considerably improved thanks to cutting-edge statistical handling of uncertainty and the utilization of new properties. Another significant step will be taken when the new method is applied to the larger dataset collected by the CMS detector in 2017 and 2018.
Understanding our reality at the atomic level demands a thorough knowledge of top-quark mass. Knowing as much as possible about this largest elementary particle is crucial because it permits the Standard Model, which is a mathematical representation of all elementary particles, to be tested for internal consistency.
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