Measurements of the Standard Model Higgs boson cross sections in the WW' decay mode with the ATLAS experiment

Abstract: This thesis summarises measurements of the Standard Model Higgs boson production cross sections based on proton–proton collision data at √s = 13 TeV produced by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. By analysing data collected during 2015 and 2016 by the ATLAS experiment, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 36 fb−1, the Higgs boson gluon–gluon fusion and vector boson fusion production cross sections are measured in the WW' decay mode. To obtain a high signal to background ratio, the data is filtered for final states with one electron (positron) and one anti-muon (muon) and missing transverse momentum. A major part of the thesis concerns the estimation of backgrounds with misidentified leptons. These backgrounds originate from the production of a W boson and an associated object mistakenly identified as an (anti-)electron or (anti-)muon, and are estimated with data driven techniques. A maximum likelihood fit is performed and the cross sections times branching ratios are simultaneously measured to be σ ·B = 12.6+2.3/-2.1 pb and σ ·B = 0.50+0.30/-0.29 pb for the gluon–gluon fusion and vector boson fusion modes, respectively. Both systematic and statistical uncertainties are taken into account in the confidence intervals. The corresponding Standard Model predictions are 10.4 ± 0.6 pb and 0.81 ± 0.02 pb. The observed (expected) significance of the gluon–gluon fusion mode is 6.3 (5.2) standard deviations above the Standard Model background. For the vector boson fusion mode, the observed and expected significances are 1.9 and 2.7 standard deviations, respectively.A smaller part of the thesis investigates the prospects for measuring the luminosity in the high-luminosity phase of the Large Hadron Collider, to begin in 2026. ATLAS will build and insert a timing detector with silicon pixel technology into the forward region, to cope with the harsh pileup environment present at high luminosity. The capabilities of this detector to provide luminosity measurements are investigated. The number of detector hits is observed to scale linearly with collision multiplicity across the full range of expected multiplicities.