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Haefner, Petra (2008): Measurement of the Top Quark Mass with the Matrix Element Method in the Semileptonic Decay Channel at D0. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

The top quark plays a special role in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. With its enormous mass of about 170 GeV it is as heavy as a gold atom and it is the only quark with a mass near the electroweak scale. Together with the W boson mass, the top quark mass allows indirect constraints on the mass of the hypothetical Higgs boson, which might hold the clue to the origin of mass. Top pair production with a semileptonic decay is the "golden channel" for mass measurements, due to a large branching fraction and a relatively low background contamination compared to other decay channels. Top mass measurements based on this decay, performed with the matrix element method, have always been among the single best measurements in the world. In 2007, the top mass world average broke the 1% level of precision. Its measurement is no longer dominated by statistical but instead by systematic uncertainties. The reduction of systematic uncertainties has therefore become a key issue for further progress. This thesis introduces two new developments in the treatment of b jets. The first improvement is an optimization in the way b identification information is used. It leads to an enhanced separation between signal and background processes and reduces the statistical uncertainty by about 16%. The second improvement determines differences in the detector response and thus the energy scales of light jets and b jets. Thereby, it addresses the major source of systematic uncertainty in the latest top mass measurements.