Particle physicists identify rare Z events in HERA data
Particle physicists from the international ZEUS collaboration have found the proverbial needle in a haystack. They identified a mere 15 Z bosons in over 500 million collision events at DESY’s former electron–proton accelerator HERA. Z particles are carriers of the weak nuclear force, one of four fundamental forces in the universe. Although Z bosons have been intensely studied at other particle accelerators, they have never been directly observed in electron–proton collisions before. Z production is the rarest process ever measured at HERA.
Together with their colleagues from the international H1 collaboration, the ZEUS scientists also studied the exchange of virtual Zbosons between weakly interacting particles. The researchers found that both the production of real Z bosons and the exchange of virtual Z bosons at HERA were in excellent agreement with the Standard Model of particle physics. The researchers presented their…
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