Alex Sherman - Vector-like and Standard Model Electroweak Single Production of a Top Quark in Association with a Z Boson
This event is part of the Preliminary Oral Exam.
Examining Committee: Kevin Black, John Butler, Ken Lane, and Ophelia Tsui
The Standard Model (SM) contains three generations of chiral quarks. Due to constraints in the cross section and decay behavior of the 125 GeV Higgs boson, it is strongly disfavored that there exists a fourth generation of heavy chiral quarks. However, many models predict the existence of a new generation of heavy vector-like quarks (VLQ) which do not couple to the Higgs in the same manner and are consistent with current SM measurements. These VLQs decay to SM particles and could be detected through one or multiple decay paths. I will outline a search for VLQ Top Partners using the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider, as well as a proposed measurement for the SM production and decay of a single top quark in association with a Z boson.