The Design of the ZEUS Regional First-Level Trigger Box and Associated Trigger Studies

The Design of the ZEUS Regional First-Level Trigger Box and Associated Trigger Studies

Timothy Lawrence Short
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Bristol

A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

March 1992


The design of electronics suitable for fast event selection in the first level of the ZEUS trigger has been studied using a Monte Carlo simulation technique. It was found that integrating tracking information from two detectors (the Central Tracking Detector and the Forward Tracking Detector) at this level was both possible and beneficial. It was shown that this method improved efficiency of acceptance of DIS events of interest while enhancing rejection of background. The performance of this part of the trigger was investigated for other physics: heavy quark pair production and J/ψ events produced via boson-gluon fusion. A method of investigating the kinematic dependency of the Central Tracking Detector first level trigger in such a way as to reduce computer resources required to acceptable levels was devised and implemented.

“I want you to be able to tell your noble friends that Zeus has given us too a certain measure of success, which has held good from our forefathers’ time to the present day. Though our boxing and wrestling are not beyond criticism, we can run fast…”

Homer: The Odyssey, Book VIII.


I would like to acknowledge everyone in the Bristol Particle Physics Group: Adrian Cassidy, Dave Cussans, Tony Duell, Neil Dyce, Helen Fawcett, Robin Gilmore, Teresa Gornall, Tim Llewellyn, John Malos, Alex Martin, Jean-Pierre Melot, Carlos Morgado, Tony Sephton, Vince Smith, Bob Tapper, Simon Wilson and Kostas Xiloparkiotis.

At Oxford, Jonathan Butterworth, Doug Gingrich and especially Fergus Wilson have all helped at various times. I am indebted to Mark Lancaster for the diagram which appears on page 56 and to Alex Mass of the University of Bonn for the one on page 65. I would also like to thank Frank Chlebana of the University of Toronto. In particular my supervisor Brian Foster and Greg Heath have played a great part in this work.

During this work, I have been funded by the Science and Engineering Research Council.

I declare that no part of this thesis has been previously presented to this or any other university as part of the requirements of a higher degree.

The design of the ZEUS trigger, of which this work forms a part, has been the responsibility of many ZEUS collaboration members. At Bristol, I have been responsible for maintaining the trigger simulation software and underlying physics generator packages. I have been solely responsible for using this code to produce the results presented here except for those in chapter eight, which were obtained in collaboration with other ZEUSUK members.

Timothy Lawrence Short


1 Physics at HERA 1
1.1 The Standard Model
1.1.1 QED
1.1.2 Weak Interactions
1.1.3 Electro-weak unification
1.1.4 QCD
1.2 Types of events at HERA
1.2.1 Introduction
1.2.2 Deep Inelastic Scattering Events Introduction General Kinematics Jacquet-Blondel Kinematics Structure Functions and Scaling
1.2.3 Boson-gluon Fusion Heavy-Flavor Pair Production J/ψ Production
1.2.4 Exotica Excited Electrons Leptoquarks and Leptogluons Supersymmetry

2 Non-Tracking Elements of the ZEUS Detector
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Calorimetry
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 Forward, Rear, Barrel Calorimeter (F/R/BCAL)
2.2.3 Backing Calorimeter (BAC)
2.2.4 Hadron Electron Separator
2.3 Muon Detectors
2.3.1 The Forward Muon Detector (FMUON)
2.3.2 Barrel/Rear Muon Detectors (B/RMUO)
2.4 Other Elements
2.4.1 The Veto-wall (VETO)
2.4.2 The Luminosity Monitor
2.4.3 Leading Proton Spectrometer (LPS)
2.4.4 Rucksack
2.4.5 Solenoid

3 Tracking Elements of the ZEUS Detector
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Central Tracking Detector (CTD)
3.2.1 Introduction
3.2.2 Mechanical Construction
3.2.3 Electronic Readout R-φ coordinates Z-coordinate
3.3 Forward Detector (FDET)
3.3.1 The Forward Tracking Detector (FTD)
3.3.2 The Transition Radiation Detector (TRD)
3.4 The Rear Tracking Detector (RTD)
3.5 The Vertex Detector (VXD)

4 The ZEUS Trigger Environment
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Overview of Data-flow
4.2 Rates and Background
4.3 The Trigger
4.3.1 The First Level Trigger Calorimeter FLT Fast Clear Other FLT Components Global First Level Trigger Box
4.3.2 The Second Level Trigger Tracking Detector SLT Calorimeter SLT Other SLT Components
4.3.3 The Third Level Trigger

5 Tracking Detector FLT
5.1 Introduction
5.2.1 Cell Processors
5.2.2 Sector Processors
5.2.3 Processing
5.2.4 Timing
5.3.1 Introduction
5.3.2 Diamonds
5.3.3 Hardware

6 The Regional First Level Trigger Box
6.1 Introduction
6.1.1 Requirements
6.1.2 Information Available to the RBOX
6.1.3 Processing
6.2 Simulation
6.2.1 Geant and ZEUSGeant
6.2.2 ZGANA
6.2.3 Event Generation
6.3 Details of the Algorithm
6.3.1 Introduction
6.3.2 Standalone FTD Sub-trigger
6.3.3 Standalone CTD Sub-trigger
6.3.4 Barrel Combined Sub-trigger
6.3.5 Forward Combined Sub-trigger
6.4 Results
6.4.1 Sub-trigger Ratios
6.4.2 Tracking Triggers
6.4.3 Beam-gas Background Comparison of Different Generators Reasons for Beam-gas Leakage
6.4.4 Calorimetry
6.5 Hardware Design of the RBOX

7 Investigation of Kinematic Dependence of CTDFLT Efficiency
7.1 Introduction
7.1.1 Special Jacquet-Blondel Kinematics
7.2 Event Generation
7.3 Results
7.4 Discussion
7.5 Conclusions

8 Heavy-Flavor Events in the Regional First Level Trigger
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Simulation
8.3 Results
8.4 Discussion
8.5 Conclusions

9 Investigation of J/ψ Event Acceptance in the FLT
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Event Generation
9.3 Results
9.3.1 Trigger Efficiencies
9.3.2 Comparison of Signal and Background
9.4 Discussion
9.5 Conclusions

10 Conclusions


List of Figures

1.1 Feynman diagrams for electron-positron scattering in QED
1.2 Feynman diagram for DIS
1.3 The two lowest order QCD diagrams for BGF
1.4 Lowest order diagram for inelastic J/ψ production
2.1 Section through the ZEUS detector along the beam-line
2.2 Arrangement of cells in the calorimeter
2.3 The LPS stations along the straight section of the beam-line
3.1 Central Tracking Detector Coordinate Systems
3.3 Sketch of an FTD sub-chamber
4.1 Flow of data through the DAQ system
4.2 Trigger regions in the calorimeter
4.3 Forward muon detector first level trigger
4.4 Barrel muon detector first level trigger
4.5 LPS input to FLT: proton search
4.6 Schematic of logic in the GFLTB
5.1 Principle of the CTDFLT
5.2 One of the 32 trigger sectors of the CTDFLT
5.3 CTDFLT event classification flowchart
5.4 Crossing mis-identification
5.5 Method of diamond forming
5.6 Principle of the FTDFLT
5.7 Outline of two-crate FTDFLT hardware design
6.1 Mapping of the FTD onto CTD
6.2 Typical values of x for physics sample
6.3 Typical values of Q2 for physics sample
6.4 Sub-trigger ratios for beam-gas sample (zero bin removed)
6.5 Sub-trigger ratios for CC sample (zero bin removed)
6.6 Sub-trigger ratios for beam-gas sample
6.7 Sub-trigger ratios for CC sample
6.8 Profile of efficiency vs. leakage for CC events
6.9 Profile of efficiency vs. leakage for NC events
6.10 Cross-correlation plots for CC events
6.11 Cross-correlation plots for NC events
6.12 Beam-gas leakage vertex profile along the beam-line
6.13 Number of track vertices per event
6.14 Hit multiplicity distributions by event class
6.15 Transverse and longitudinal momenta of tracks by event class for beam-gas
6.16 Beamgas leakage vertex profile after ET cuts
6.17 Regional box functional subdivision
6.18 Regional box hardware scheme
6.19 Subdivision in θ of RBOX bitmap to GFLTB
7.1 Contours of fixed y in the x-θjet plane
7.2 Contours of fixed y in the Q2-θjet plane
7.3 Low statistics full angle pass for CC events
7.4 Low statistics full angle pass for NC events
7.5 Efficiency for CC events
8.1 Effect of multiplicity and transverse energy on acceptance
8.2 Multiplicity of charged tracks per event with a pt > 0.5 GeV/c for heavy flavor events
8.3 Total transverse energy (GeV) per event as measured by the calorimeter for heavy flavor events
8.4 Total transverse energy (GeV) per event as measured by the calorimeter for beam-gas events
8.5 Multiplicity of charged tracks per event with a pt > 0.5 GeV/c for beam-gas events
8.6 Polar angle of Geant tracks for HFLGEN and HERWIG events
9.1 Sum of visible transverse energy in the electromagnetic calorimeter
9.2 Sum of total transverse momentum (x-direction only)
9.3 Sum of total transverse visible energy
9.4 Veto-wall hits
9.5 Number of hits in C5 collimator for J/ψ events
9.6 Number of hits in C5 collimator for beam-gas events
9.7 Sub-trigger decision flowchart

List of Tables

1.1 Quark doublets
1.2 Lepton doublets
2.1 Polar angle coverage of calorimeter sections
2.2 Calorimeter readout tower size
4.1 Rates of physics and background
4.2 Processing time allowed per event by level of trigger
4.3 Calorimeter tower numbers and makeup by location
4.4 Total HAC and EMC energy deposited by a MIP by location of tower
4.5 FMUFLT polar angle subdivision
5.1 Summary of CTDFLT event classifications
6.1 Geant physics processes
6.2 Kinematic variables of CC sample
6.3 Proportion of beam-gas events in zero bin with non-zero denominator for the four sub-triggers
6.4 RBOX FLT cut values for the four sub-triggers
6.5 Results for CC events
6.6 Results for NC events
6.7 Results for beam-gas events
6.8 Event classifications for different generators
6.9 Transverse energy cuts chosen for the CTD
6.10 Transverse energy cuts chosen for the RBOX
7.1 CTDFLT efficiencies in the kinematic bins for θ-jet = 63° +/- 1°
7.2 CTDFLT efficiencies in the kinematic bins for θ-jet = 43° +/- 1°
7.3 CTDFLT efficiencies in the kinematic bins for θ-jet = 33° +/- 1°
7.4 CTDFLT efficiencies in the kinematic bins for θ-jet = 23° +/- 1°
7.5 CTDFLT efficiencies in the kinematic bins for θ-jet = 13° +/- 1°
7.6 Final combined figures for CTDFLT efficiency
8.1 Percentage of events accepted by the simple parametrization of the tracking and calorimeter first level trigger
8.2 FLT classifications for the full FLT simulations for ccbar events
8.3 FLT classifications for the full FLT simulations for bbbar events
9.1 Event classifications from ZGANA
9.2 Event classifications for the dedicated sub-trigger

Next Chapter:


Physics at HERA

This post is based on a chapter of my PhD thesis. The original is located at:

Chapter 1

Physics at HERA

The Standard Model

Physics contains four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak forces. The current understanding of particle physics is embodied in the ‘standard model’, which combines three of these forces in the framework of ‘gauge theories’. [1] Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) describes forces between charged particles in terms of photon exchange between them. We extend this idea to include the weak force (‘electroweak unification’), mediated by heavy W+, W, Z0 bosons. Finally, in quantum chromodynamics (QCD), gluons mediate the attraction which binds quarks in hadrons.

The model is in excellent agreement with experimental results. But it contains more than twenty arbitrary parameters which must be adjusted to fit the data. We hope that as progress is made, this number will be reduced. Additionally, we hope for further steps towards a ‘grand unified theory’ containing all known forces.

At the moment, the standard model envisages three families of quarks and leptons. We arrange the quarks in doublets. Bound states of two or three quarks form mesons or baryons respectively. For example, two up quarks and a down form a proton. We think leptons are elementary and we also arrange them in doublets as shown in the table below. Here, heavy fermions are each accompanied by a neutrino.

Quark doublets

Lepton doublets

Physics at HERA: QED

The Klein-Gordon (equation 1.1) and Dirac (equation 1.2) equations are relativistic substitutes for the Schrödinger wave equation for fermions and bosons respectively.

θ and φ are the wave-functions of their particles, m their mass, the s are matrices constructed from Pauli spin matrices, and γmumu = γ0 δ/δt + γ . □

Quantum mechanics postulates that wave-functions may have arbitrary phase since phases do not influence any observable quantities. The requirements that the behavior of particles under the equations is invariant under phase transformations constitutes the powerful ‘gauge principle’. In particular, we may make ‘local’ transformations. We may introduce phase changes dependent on space-time coordinates. The gauge principle states there should be invariance under the local transformation in equation 1.3.

Feynman diagrams for electron-positron scattering in QED.

However, the differential operators in both of the relativistic field equations equation 1.1 and equation 1.2 operate on the phase factor α so the invariance is lost. It transpires that it is necessary to introduce vector potentials in which the particles described move in order to offset the changes and restore the invariance.

Perturbation Series

In QED, we expand these potentials in a perturbation series. The expansion parameter at each order is α, the fine structure constant. This is small: α = e2/4π = 1/137. The expansion allows the computation of amplitudes at a given order of α for scattering processes via consideration of four-vectors for incoming and outgoing particles and matrix elements representing the transition probabilities between initial and final states.

Feynmann represented the amplitudes in diagrammatic form. A scattering process such as e+e → e+e involves the exchange of a virtual photon at lowest order (figure 1.1(a)).

Each part of a diagram for a given process is related to a corresponding term in the amplitude. There is a propagator term referring to the internal photon. We introduce incoming and outgoing spinors for external particle lines. We use polarisation vectors for any photons in the initial or final states.

Higher order correction terms in the expansion take the form of additional lines in the diagrams. For example, the diagram in figure 1.1(b) allows for the possibility of virtual pair creation in the propagator. These corrections proved problematical: the relevant series diverge leading to unphysical infinite cross-sections.

The solution to this difficulty is renormalization. The integrals corresponding to loop corrections diverge at high momentum. Renormalization involves choosing an energy scale ΛQED above which no contribution to the amplitude will be considered. This is equivalent to truncating the perturbation series after a fixed number of terms. The infinities now cancel at each order. Their effects are subsumed into the properties of the particle in question. It is not possible ever to measure ‘bare’ charge and mass because of these vacuum polarization effects.

Renormalized QED

Renormalized QED has shown remarkable predictive power. For example, the magnetic moment μ of the electron is:

where g is the ‘gyromagnetic ratio’.

The lowest order Dirac treatment predicts that g = 2 exactly. But in the broader picture virtual pairs surround each electron. As discussed above, these alter its apparent properties and mean that summing corrections to higher orders produces a different prediction for g. This prediction and the measurement agree to ten significant figures.

Physics at HERA: Weak Interactions

The weak interaction is responsible for β-decay. Fermi postulated a point-like process involving a proton becoming a neutron together with the emission of a positron to conserve charge and a neutrino to explain the observed energy spectrum. We modified this picture. It now focusses on quark transitions. But it retains its validity.

In the framework of gauge theories, forces require a quantum to transmit their effects. Intermediate vector bosons play this role. They are the charged W+ and W together with the neutral Z0. These play an analogous part in the weak interaction to that of the photon in QED.

By the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the range of a force is related to the inverse mass of its quanta. The masses (greater/equal to 80 GeV/c2) of the Ws and Zs show that the range of the weak force is relatively small. Further, the propagator term in the cross-section formula depends on M-2W; Z, so the strength of the weak interaction is also comparatively small for low energy processes.

Weak interactions violate parity conservation. No process has so far been observed which involves a right-handed (i:e: positive helicity) neutrino. In the formalism, we make operators from γ5 which is a product of Dirac γ matrices.

The ‘V-A’ term (1-γ5) projects out negative helicity states. Changing the sign of γ5 is equivalent to introducing a ‘V+A’ component and would result in a projection of positive helicity states. This would then allow processes producing the unobserved right-handed neutrinos. Since we do not observe right-handed neutrinos, the framework describing charged current weak interactions is known as ‘V-A’ theory.

Electro-weak unification

The unification of the electromagnetic and weak sectors is embodied in the theory of Glashow, Salam and Weinberg.[2], [3], [4] This required i) the devising of a mechanism to generate mass for the weak bosons and ii) the identification of an appropriate gauge group.

Mass generation involves substitutions of derivatives analogous to equation 1.5

where □ is given by (1.6) so the interacting Maxwell equation for a mass-less photon (1.7) becomes (1.8).

which is the equation for a free massive vector field. Considering only spatial components, this means it is necessary for the ‘screening current condition’ to hold: i:e: that the current has a component proportional to the vector field.

This can only occur if we introduce an additional field. The Higgs field[5] screens out the infinite range weak field which would result from having mass-less weak bosons.

It transpires that the correct gauge group here is SU(2) U(1). SU(2) is the ‘weak isospin’ space in which there is a symmetry of the weak sector and U(1) represents the standard phase invariance of electromagnetism. The conserved quantity in the whole of this space is hypercharge y:

where Q is the electromagnetic charge and t3 is the third component of the weak isospin quantum number.

Gauge Fields

There are two gauge fields in the resulting wave equation each of which have their own coupling strength. The linear combination of fields

corresponds to the SU(2) and the U(1) parts of the overall gauge group. This represents a mass-less photon and a large mass W boson. The W mass is given by

where f is the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field. The Z mass is related to this in terms of an angle which is the main free parameter of the theory

This angle also fixes the relative strengths of the unified parts via

The theory was vindicated by the discovery at CERN of the W and Z bosons with the correct masses. It has successfully predicted a large number of relevant cross-sections (e:g: for ee, ep scattering) and the decay width for the Z.


Considering baryons to be made up of three quarks had been shown to be productive prior to the advent of QCD. However, the Pauli exclusion principle was to force an extension to the simple quark model. The principle requires the wave-function of a fermion to be antisymmetric; that is, under exchange of a pair of fermions, the wave-function must change sign. Particles made up of an odd number of fermions are themselves fermions and thus the combined wave-function of a baryon must change sign under exchange of one of its quark components.

However, the Δ++ resonance consists of three u quarks in identical spin states. It was therefore necessary to introduce an additional ‘internal’ degree of freedom to distinguish the quarks. This was termed ‘color’. It is important to remember that free color has never been observed, so all particles must be formed from color neutral superpositions.

QCD is the theoretical framework which describes the strong interactions between quarks in terms of this color charge. Gluons mediate the colour charge. Gluons are themselves coloured and so they feel the influence of other gluons. This results in the phenomenon of ‘color anti-screening’ in QCD. As the distance scale probed decreases, apparent electric charge increases in QED. However, gluons reduce the effective coupling at smaller distances. This is why the ideas of perturbation theory, developed for weak forces, are applicable to QCD which describes the strong force.

The theory is described as ‘asymptotically free’, meaning that as the distance scale probed grows smaller, so does the coupling. Conversely, this has the important consequence that quarks cannot exist in the free state: as two quarks are separated the bond strength between them increases to the point where pair production of new quarks takes place.

Types of events at HERA


HERA will collide 820 GeV protons with 30 GeV electrons. Physics of interest will lie in the extension of measurements to a much larger kinematic range than has been previously available.[7] This section will outline the processes relevant to the work described later in this thesis. These fall into three main sections. Deep inelastic scattering events (DIS) are the mainstay of HERA physics. Secondly, many processes of interest take place via the mechanism of boson-gluon fusion (BGF). Finally I outline more exotic processes.

We often quote the amount of data taken by an experiment in units of inverse picobarns. A barn is 10-28 m2. ZEUS is expected to accumulate 100 pb-1 for each year of operation. This figure of ‘integrated luminosity’ may be multiplied by the cross-section for a given process to deduce the number of such events to be expected in a sample.

For example, the cross-section for top-quark pair production via photon-gluon fusion (see section is dependent on the mass of the top quark. This now means that is unlikely to be much larger than 0.01 pb. So ZEUS is now unlikely to observe these events.

Deep Inelastic Scattering Events


All elements of the standard model are necessary to understand DIS events. In the quark-parton model, these events are due to the exchange of a boson between the incoming lepton and a quark. As mentioned previously, it is impossible to observe free quarks: at some separation the binding energy becomes sufficient to enable pair creation. By processes not at present fully understood, the scattered quark ‘hadronizes’ forming a ‘current jet’ of many energetic, strongly interacting particles.

DIS events are classed as ‘charged current’ (CC) if the intermediate boson is a charged W, neutral current (NC) if it is a Z or γ. If the event is NC type, we will see the scattered electron in the detector. CC events contain a neutrino which will escape from the detector without interacting.

The topology of these events is generally described in terms of a particular formalism, described in the next section.

General Kinematics

We use several variables to describe event kinematics. Q2 is the squared four-momentum transfer between the quark and the outgoing lepton.

In these equations pe, pl and P are the four-momenta of the incoming and scattered lepton, and the incoming proton respectively. The energy transferred by the current in the proton rest frame is ν = q.p/mp.

In the limit of small lepton masses, we determine the variables Q2, x and y. We do this using the outgoing lepton energy El and the lepton scattering angle θl (measured with respect to the electron direction).

In CC events the neutrino energy and scattering angle cannot be measured by the detector. But we can calculate Q2, x and y from the energy Ej and production angle θj of the current jet (measured with respect to the proton direction).

Proton Momentum Fraction

Physically, x is the fraction of the proton momentum that the struck quark carries. It can thus take values between 0 and 1. It is related to Q2 by a well known relation which I show in equation 1.24.

The interpretation of y at HERA is less straightforward. In fixed target experiments, it is the fractional energy transfer in the laboratory frame. We calculate it by dividing the energy of the exchanged boson by the incoming lepton energy. In a lepton-quark frame in which ŝ = xs is the squared sub-process total energy, y = Q2/ŝ.

The value of s at the HERA nominal beam energies is shown below.

Clearly for Q2 to take this maximum value we need x = y = 1 meaning that all of the proton momentum is carried by the struck quark. y = 1 corresponds to maximum Q2 for the particular struck quark.

Jacquet-Blondel Kinematics

Jacquet-Blondel kinematics consists of a parametrization of the above variables. The standard equations[8] express Q2 in terms of jet angle θjet and energy Ejet as follows:

This formalism is applicable to all CC and NC processes. At low Q2 the pure electromagnetic term dominates the scattering. As Q2 increases, the γ/Z0 interference term becomes important and finally above around Q2 = 104 (GeV/c)2 the pure weak term dominates.

DIS events have high Q2 and high ν in distinction from elastic processes. [If the scattering is elastic, then the four-momentum of the proton is unchanged by the collision: p = p’. By conservation at the vertex, p + q = p’ so (p’)2 = p2+2p.q+q2 and 2p.q = -q2 = Q2 = 2mp.ν holds for elastic scattering.]

Here is the relevant Feynman diagram.

Figure 1.2: Feynman diagram for DIS.

Structure Functions and Scaling

The kinematical dependency of the DIS cross-section factorizes into leptonic and hadronic parts, each represented by a tensor.

where q, p are four-vectors for the intermediate boson and the incoming hadron respectively. This leads to the following form for the NC cross-section

in which we introduced three new parameters. F1, F2 and F3 are the structure functions of the proton.

Bjorken scaling postulates that in the DIS regime, the Q2 dependence of the structure functions should disappear, leaving only the x variation. Intuitively, this is related to the idea that at high Q2 the virtual boson interacts at short distances inside the proton, essentially with only one parton. This is free on the short timescales involved. The scattering is elastic.

Then y = x and the structure functions depend only on one variable. QCD predicts a violation of this scaling behaviour due to the addition of gluon loops.

Boson-gluon Fusion

Heavy-Flavor Pair Production

The phrase heavy-flavour conventionally refers to events involving the three heaviest quarks, that is the charm, bottom and the so far unobserved top quark. The exchange of photons or bosons which fuse with a gluon radiated by the proton mediates events. This gives the BGF mechanism its name. I show the lowest order QCD diagrams below.

The CC process is important for top production. However the total cross-section for all processes has a strong dependence on the quark mass.[8]

The two lowest order QCD diagrams for BGF. The process forms a quark/antiquark pair.

At present, the top quark mass is 122+41-32 GeV/c2 so HERA experiments will not observe any top quark pair events.

NC processes (in fact mostly gamma-gluon exchanges at low Q2) dominate the BGF cross-section.

J/ψ Production

The BGF mechanisms shown in figure 1.4 can also produce J/ψ particles.

Perturbative QCD allows calculations concerning ccbar pair production as a whole. This is a useful approach because the strong coupling constant S becomes relatively small at the charmed quark mass scale. The leading logarithm approximation for S as a running coupling constant shows this. This form is valid only for six quark flavours.

in which Λ is a QCD renormalization parameter.

Lowest order diagram for inelastic J/ψ production.

The running of the coupling constant arises, analogously with the QED case, from choosing a mass scale at which to cut off higher-order diagrams with many loops. The running of the coupling constant is a consequence of the color anti-screening mentioned previously. Clearly Q2 is a measure of the penetration of the probe. It is expected that the coupling will decrease with higher Q2.

ΛQCD is between 0.1 and 0.2 GeV. Almost real photons dominate the cross-section. Q2_photon = 0 so the gluon must have Q2_gluon ~ Mψ2.

The coupling is relatively weak at the relevant mass scale (equation 1.31).

Data so far available (e.g. EMC) supports the ‘color singlet’ model of Berger and Jones[9] as the mechanism for J/ψ production. The model successfully reproduces the transverse momentum and Q2 dependence of the EMC data.[10]

Weizsäcker-Williams Approximation

In order to extrapolate cross-sections down to the very low Q2 domain of J/ψ production, the Weizsäcker-Williams approximation[11] is important. We factorise the cross-section for reactions with initial state photon bremsstrahlung into two terms. One is the cross-section at the total energy after photon emission. The other is dependent on the emitted photon and initial particle energies.

The J/ψ cross-section peaks sharply in x just above x ~ (mψ2)/s.[12]

Because HERA is a high energy machine with large and variable s, the peaks occur at much lower values of x than at previous experiments so these events will be useful to probe the gluon distribution[13] in a new domain. They will have extremely low Q2 (10-4 GeV2 < Q2 < 10-2 GeV2 for example) and hence a very small scattered electron angle.


Three main avenues for investigation of exotic physics[14] exist at HERA. These are searches for excited electrons, leptoquarks/leptogluons and supersymmetry. The crucial parameter in this context at HERA is √s = 314 GeV, which is the amount of energy available in the center of mass frame for the creation of new states.

Excited Electrons

The existence of excitations would indicate that the presence of a previously undetected substructure. This would require another internal degree of freedom like color: all observed states would be ‘hypercolor’ neutral. Hypergluon exchange would confine preons on some compositeness scale. The excited states decay (e.g. l* → e + γ or q* → q + W+ or W) so construction of invariant mass plots from the decay products should prove a useful method of investigation.

Leptoquarks and Leptogluons

These are resonant states between leptons and partons.[15] Leptoquark production occurs at fixed x (x = mleptoquark = s). The events are similar to DIS, which forms the major background. The DIS cross-sections show a Q-4 dependency whereas leptoquark decays are isotropic: they will show no Q2 dependence. Thus selecting events with Q2 greater than or equal to 1,000 will produce a clean signature with good event rates if leptoquarks exist.

HERA will be able to observe leptoquarks up to √s, the kinematic limit.


Supersymmetry, or SUSY, envisages a more broad symmetry than the usual multiplet schemes. Here, fermions and bosons may be members of the same gauge group multiplet. As usual, however, we need to break the supersymmetry in a manner consistent with low-energy phenomenology.

The minimal model gives each particle a SUSY partner so that there are now eight gluinos as well as the familiar gluons and also there are squarks and sleptons. We envisage processes analogous to standard DIS. We replace the gauge boson by a gaugino (e.g. a Zino or a Wino). This leads to a squark and a selectron in the final state.

The cross-sections for production at HERA should be sufficient to observe SUSY-NC processes providing that mebar + mqbar is less than or equal to 200 GeV/c2 (1.32).

Next chapter: