The W Boson:
Calculating the Mass

These events show leptonic decay of W bosons. The missing transverse momentum of the event is represented by a dotted line.

You can find the mass of the W in the same way as for the Z boson, but you will be using transverse mass instead of invariant mass. However, this time we cannot simply click on the neutrino, as it leaves no track. Instead, select the neutrino to add to the transverse mass of the system by clicking on the text 'Select Neutrino' over the detector.

The peak of the transverse mass histogram corresponds to the mass of the W.

Transverse mass, because only two of the momentum components are used instead of three, is always less than or equal to the invariant mass of the system. The shape of the graph will be different to the Z° invariant mass plot. It will show a range of energies below the mass of the W.


Last modified Wed 13 August 2003 . View page history
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