Mathematics Senior Capstone Papers

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2020


The strong interaction is the force responsible for binding quarks to form hadrons, such as protons and neutrons, and also for binding protons and neutrons to form the nuclei of atoms. The properties of the strong interaction can be studied in particle collisions from measurements of the production rates of collimated sprays of particles, called jets. In particular, the ratio of the number of collisions that produce three jets over the number of collisions that produce two jets is a direct measure of the strength of the strong interaction. This strength is quantified by the strong coupling constant, αs. Determinations of αs from particle collider data require theoretical calculations. In this paper, a new approach for the theoretical calculations is investigated that differs from the commonly used approach. Computations of the results are presented for different ratio measurements performed at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and the Fermilab Tevatron Collider. The results of the two different approaches are compared to each other and to the results of the experimental measurements. It is discussed in which kinematical regions the two approaches agree and where they differ.

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