Evidence for production of single top quarks and first direct measurement of |Vtb|

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The D0 Collaboration presents first evidence for the production of single top quarks at the Fermilab Tevatron pp̄ collider. Using a 0.9fb-1 dataset, we apply a multivariate analysis to separate signal from background and measure σ(pp̄→tb+X,tqb+X)=4.9±1.4pb. The probability to measure a cross section at this value or higher in the absence of a signal is 0.035%, corresponding to a 3.4 standard deviation significance. We use the cross section measurement to directly determine the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix element that describes the Wtb coupling and find 0.68<|Vtb|≤1 at 95% C.L. within the standard model. © 2007 The American Physical Society.

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