Precise calculation of differential cross sections for the Z boson plus jets production in proton-proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV


Abstract: The differential cross section predictions for the associated production of a Z boson and jets are presented in proton-proton collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. The differential cross sections are calculated by using a computational framework for the dielectron decay mode of the Z boson. Higher-order differential cross section predictions are obtained in the fiducial phase space and are compared at next-to-leading order (NLO) and next-to-NLO (NNLO) in perturbative quantum chromodynamics (pQCD). The predicted results are reported as functions of the variables including the jet multiplicity, the invariant mass of the Z boson, and transverse momenta of the Z boson and of the decay products. The predicted results are also reported for the angular correlation variables for the final state decay products. The differential results are generally improved in precision upon inclusion of the NNLO corrections. The total cross sections are calculated in the fiducial phase space at different orders in pQCD up to NNLO. The total production rates are predicted more accurately by the NNLO calculation.

Keywords: Quantum chromodynamics, Z+jets, NLO and NNLO differential cross section calculations, qT subtraction formalism

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