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Concept# Particule subatomique

Résumé

Une particule subatomique est un composant de la matière. Elle a une taille inférieure à celle d'un atome. On distingue les particules élémentaires des particules composites. La branche de la physique qui les étudie est appelée la physique des particules.
Nature
Modèle standard (physique des particules)
La recherche sur les particules subatomiques a permis de mettre en évidence :

- d'une part, les constituants atomiques tels que les protons, les neutrons et les électrons, ainsi que leurs constituants (notamment les quarks) ;
- d'autre part, les particules produites par les phénomènes de rayonnement et de dispersion, tels que les photons, les neutrinos, et les muons.

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The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been producing pp collisions at 7 and 8 TeV since 2010 and promises a new era of discoveries in particle physics. One of its experiments, the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment, was constructed to study CP violation in the B meson system. In addition to B physics, new Physics beyond the Standard Model can also be searched for at this single-arm forward spectrometer. With the different sub-detectors and the high resolution of the tracking system, the LHCb detector has the ability to search for heavy, long-lived and charged particles, which are predicted by extensions of the Standard Model. One of these extensions, the minimal Gauge Mediated Supersymmetry Breaking (mGMSB), proposes such a particle, named stau (τ~) - the SUSY bosonic counterpart of the heavy lepton tau (τ). The theory proposes that the staus may be pair-produced in pp collisions or in the decays of heavier particles, and have only electromagnetic interactions with the atoms of the medium like the muons. Therefore, we expect that at the energy of the LHC these particles can be produced if they do exist and that we have a chance to discover them at LHCb, as well as at the other experiments of the LHC. This thesis is dedicated to the search for stau pairs produced in pp collisions at the centre-of-mass energies √s = 7 and 8 TeV in the LHCb detector. For this purpose, we generated the stau pairs with seven different particle masses ranging from 124 to 309 GeV/c2 and simulated their path through the LHCb detector, as well as their muon background from the decays Z0, γ∗ → μ+μ−. Based on the results from the simulation, a set of cuts are then defined to select the stau pairs. Some muon pairs at high energies will also pass the selection cuts. Thus, to separate the stau pairs from the muon pairs, the Neural Network technique has been used. A first Neural Network has been used to distinguish the stau tracks from the muon tracks using their signals left in the sub-detectors: the VELO silicon detector, the electromagnetic calorimeter, the hadron calorimeter and the RICH detectors. Then, two methods to select the stau pairs have been developed: the first one is based on the product of the two responses from the first Neural Network (NN1) for the two tracks, the second one employs a second Neural Network to separate the stau pairs from the muon pairs by using the above product of the two NN1 responses and the invariant mass of pair. Finally, a favourable region for the staus finding has been defined and the expected numbers of stau and muon pairs in this region have been evaluated. The training of the Neural Network has been achieved with the Monte Carlo variables, then the trained Neural Network has been used to classify the data. The data used in our work were collected by the LHCb experiment in 2011 and 2012 and correspond to integrated luminosities of 1 fb−1 at √s = 7 TeV and of 2 fb−1 at √s = 8 TeV. No significant excess of signal has been observed. Upper limits at 95% CL on the cross section for stau pair production in pp collisions at √s = 7 and 8 TeV have been computed by using the profile likelihood method, which is derived from the well known Feldman and Cousins method.

Recent proposals of large and infinite extra dimensions triggered a strong research activity in theories in which our universe is considered as a sub-manifold of some higher-dimensional space-time, a so-called 3-brane. In this context, it is generally assumed that some mechanism is at work which binds Standard Model particles to the 3-brane, an effect often referred to as the localization of matter on the brane. Gravity, however, is allowed to propagate in general also in the extra dimensions. As demonstrated by Randall and Sundrum in 1999, it is also possible to localize gravity itself on a 3-brane. In the setup they proposed. the 3-brane is realized as a singular domain wall separating two patches of 3-dimensional anti-de-Sitter (AdS5) space-time. The potential between two test masses on the brane at distances larger than the AdS5-radius was shown to be the usual 4-dimensional Newtonian 1/r potential with strongly suppressed corrections. The model of Randall and Sundrum, usually referred to as the Randall-Sundrum II setup, constitutes the center of interest for this thesis. The main goal of this work is to find possible generalizations to higher dimensions of the simple setup considered by Randall and Sundrum. One of the motivations for such a generalization is that a realistic theory should possibly be able to explain the chiral nature of 4-dimensional fermions on the brane. One way to explain chiral fermions from higher dimensions is to consider 3-braves identified with the cores of topological defects located in a higher-dimensional transverse space. Naturally a richer topological structure of the field configuration in transverse space provides the possibility of a more realistic spectrum of chiral fermions localized on the 3-brane. After two introductory chapters on extra dimensions and non-factorizable geometries which are relevant for the Randall-Sundrum II model, we briefly discuss basics of topological defects in the following third chapter. In the rest of the third chapter we consider various solutions to higher-dimensional Einstein equations coupled to a series of physically different sources and discuss their properties of localization of gravity. Due to their asymptotic nature, these solutions are only valid far from the cores of the defects in transverse space. Therefore, it seems reasonable to complement the consideration by presenting a particular numerical example of a solution to the Einstein equations coupled to a set of scalar and gauge fields: this solution describes a 3-brave realized as a 't Hooft-Polyakov monopole residing in the 3-dimensional transverse space of a 7-dimensional space-time. The last chapter of this work is dedicated to the study of a modification of the original Randall-Sundrum II model of another kind. The motivation is given by the geodesic incompleteness of the latter scenario with respect to time-like and light-like geodesics. We will describe a model which resembles the Randall-Sundrurn II model with respect to its properties of gravity localization but with the advantage that the underlying space-time manifold is geodesically complete. Parts of the calculations related to the properties of gravity at low energies in this model are rather technical in nature and we therefore preferred to assemble them in several appendices. We finally add some concluding remarks and discuss possible further developments.

This thesis aims to find, for the first time, a direct relation between the size and morphology of small metallic nanostructures (gold in this case) supported on a metal-oxide surface to their catalytic activity. In this perspective, three main topics have been treated during this thesis. The first part concerns the design and realization of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) supposed to work over a wide temperature range (4K < T ≤ 300K). This new device replaces an existing solution. The coarse approach of the scanning tip towards the sample is realized by an axial motor based on a sapphire prism gliding on shear piezos in the stick&slip mode. The new STM is very rigid moving the resonance frequencies to higher values with respect to the existing solution. Operation of the motor down to T = 8K has been proven, however topographic imaging has been performed only in the temperature range 77K < T ≤ 300K. The second part of this work focuses on a study of the evolution of the morphology of gold nanoparticles on a TiO2(110) surface. Size-selected clusters Aun+ (n = 5, 7) are deposited at a well defined kinetic energy on the surface held at room temperature. Subsequent annealing of the sample has been performed stepwise. After each temperature increase, the morphology has been determined by STM. The evolution as a function of surface temperature has been studied for two different surface reconstructions, TiO2(110)-(1×1) and TiO2(110)-(2×1). The deposition process leads only to small fragmentation and the morphology is stable up to T = 400K. Further increase of the surface temperature leads to sintering of the particles by Ostwald ripening as shown by an exponential decrease of the island density with temperature. The main topic of this thesis, the correlation between morphology and catalytic activity, is described in the last part of this manuscript. For the first time we are able to relate the onset of CO2 production from CO and O2 to a clear change in the morphology. The catalytic activity of the particles strongly depends on their size and dimensionality. The relative activity per particle has been determined and we find a clear maximum for clusters containing 60 atoms and are 3 to 4 monolayers high. These results are discussed in contrast of literature data on the same but also on different metal-oxide surfaces.