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Model-independent measurement of the W boson helicity in top quark decays

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Article number062004
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/02/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Issue number6
Number of pages7
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We present the first model-independent measurement of the helicity of $W$ bosons produced in top quark decays, based on a 1 fb$^{-1}$ sample of candidate $t\bar{t}$ events in the dilepton and lepton plus jets channels collected by the D0 detector at the Fermilab Tevatron $p\bar{p}$ Collider. We reconstruct the angle $\theta^*$ between the momenta of the down-type fermion and the top quark in the $W$ boson rest frame for each top quark decay. A fit of the resulting \costheta distribution finds that the fraction of longitudinal $W$ bosons $f_0 = 0.425 \pm 0.166 \hbox{(stat.)} \pm 0.102 \hbox{(syst.)}$ and the fraction of right-handed $W$ bosons $f_+ = 0.119 \pm 0.090 \hbox{(stat.)} \pm 0.053 \hbox{(syst.)}$, which is consistent at the 30% C.L. with the standard model.

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© 2008 The American Physical Society