A novel approach to confront electroweak data and theory

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A novel approach to study electroweak physics at one-loop level in generic SU(2)L×U(1)Y theories is introduced. It separates the 1-loop corrections into two pieces: process specific ones from vertex and box contributions, and universal ones from contributions to the gauge boson propagators. The latter are parametrized in terms of four effective form factors \(\bar e^2 (q^2 ), \bar s^2 (q^2 ), \bar g_Z^2 (q^2 )\) and \(\bar g_W^2 (q^2 )\) corresponding to the γγ, γZ,ZZ andWW propagators. Under the assumption that only the Standard Model contributes to the process specific corrections, the magnitudes of the four form factors are determined atq 2=0 and atq 2=m Z 2 by fitting to all available precision experiments. These values are then compared systematically with predictions of SU(2)L×U(1)Y theories. In all fits α s (m Z ) and \(\bar \alpha (m_Z^2 )\) are treated as external parameters in order to keep the interpretation as flexible as possible. The treatment of the electroweak data is presented in detail together with the relevant theoretical formulae used to interpret the data. No deviation from the Standard Model has been identified. Ranges of the top quark and Higgs boson masses are derived as functions of α s (m Z ) and \(\bar \alpha (m_Z^2 )\) . Also discussed are consequences of the recent precision measurement of the left-right asymmetry at SLC as well as the impact of a top quark mass and an improvedW mass measurement.