Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

John Cumalat

Second Advisor

James Thompson

Third Advisor

Paul Strom


This thesis reports a search for identifying the theoretical Z’ boson at the LHC. It was assumed that the Z’ is created at rest, and an algorithm exploiting the geometry of the decay was developed to reconstruct the mass of the Z’. In testing, it was discovered that the Z’ is boosted in simulations, invalidating the proposed algorithm. The new approach to mass reconstruction involved looking for correlations between properties of the taus and their decay products. No successful algorithm that reconstructed the generated mass of the Z’ was found. However, analysis revealed that the difference in PT, denoted ΔPT, of the electron and muon was equivalent to the missing transverse energy in Z’ decays, but this was not always the case in background signals. This suggests that ΔPT can provide a means of further separating Z’ decays from similar processes.