Are there anomalous Z fermion couplings?
Particle and Nuclear Physics Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK (e-mail: email@example.com)
Received: 21 December 1998 / Revised version: 12 February 1999 / Published online: 15 April 1999
The couplings of the fermions to the Z boson are of great importance in establishing the validity of the Standard Model and in looking for physics beyond it. The couplings of the b-quark to the Z boson have been the subject of much experimental study and theoretical interpretation. The apparent excess in the value of , the ratio of the partial width of the Z boson to to its total hadronic width, above the Standard Model expectation reported a few years ago has now become much less significant. However, the measurements of the pole forward-backward asymmetry for b-quarks at the Z pole and of the polarisation parameter , obtained using a polarised electron beam, have improved considerably in accuracy. The latest data are examined and values of the vector and axial-vector b-quark and c-quark couplings to the Z are extracted. The left and right handed couplings are also extracted. It is found that whereas the c-quark couplings are compatible with the Standard Model, those of the b-quark data are only compatible with the Standard Model at about the 1% level. In addition, the individual lepton couplings are extracted and the degree to which the data support the hypothesis of lepton universality is discussed. The sensitivity of the limits from electroweak fits to the Higgs boson mass to these data is examined.