Measurement of the W boson mass and W+W- production and decay properties in e+e- collisions at √s = 172 GeV

OPAL Collaboration

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51 Scopus citations


This paper describes the measurement of the W boson mass, MW, and decay width, ΓW, from the direct reconstruction of the invariant mass of its decay products in W pair events collected at a mean centre-of-mass energy of √s=172.12 GeV with the OPAL detector at LEP. Measurements of the W pair production cross-section, the W decay branching fractions and properties of the W decay final states are also described. A total of 120 candidate W+W- events has been selected for an integrated luminosity of 10.36 pb-1. The W+W- production cross-section is measured to be σWW = 12.3 ± 1.3(stat.)± 0.3 (syst.) pb, consistent with the Standard Model expectation. The W+W- → qqℓv and W+W- → qqqq final states are used to obtain a direct measurement of ΓW = 1.30+0.70-0.55 (stat.) ± 0.18 (syst.) GeV. Assuming the Standard Model relation between MW and ΓW, the W boson mass is measured to be MW = 80.32 ± 0.30(stat.) ± 0.09(syst.) GeV. The event properties of the fully-hadronic decays of W+W- events are compared to those of the semileptonic decays. At the current level of precision there is no evidence for effects of colour reconnection in the observables studied. Combining data recorded by OPAL at √s ∼ 161-172 GeV, the W boson branching fraction to hadrons is determined to be 69.8+3.0-3.2 (stat.) ± 0.7 (syst.)%, consistent with the prediction of the Standard Model. The combined mass measurement from direct reconstruction and from the W+W- production cross-sections measured at √s ∼ 161 and √s ∼ 172 GeV is MW = 80.35 ± 0.24 (stat.) ± 0.07(syst.) GeV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-424
Number of pages30
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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