The ATLAS experiment has observed 1995 Z boson candidates in data corresponding to 0.15 inverse nb of integrated luminosity obtained in the 2011 LHC Pb+Pb run at sqrt(s_NN)=2.76 TeV. The Z bosons are reconstructed via di-electron and di-muon decay channels, with a background contamination of less than 3%. Results from the two channels are consistent and are combined. Within the statistical and systematic uncertainties, the per-event Z boson yield is proportional to the number of binary collisions estimated by the Glauber model. The elliptic anisotropy of the azimuthal distribution of the Z boson with respect to the event plane is found to be consistent with zero.
A study of WZ production in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV is presented using data corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 4.6 fb^-1 collected with the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider in 2011. In total, 317 candidates, with a background expectation of 68+/-10 events, are observed in double-leptonic decay final states with electrons, muons and missing transverse momentum. The total cross-section is determined to be sigma_WZ(tot) = 19.0+1.4/-1.3(stat.)+/-0.9(syst.)+/-0.4(lumi.) pb, consistent with the Standard Model expectation of 17.6+1.1/-1.0 pb. Limits on anomalous triple gauge boson couplings are derived using the transverse momentum spectrum of Z bosons in the selected events. The cross section is also presented as a function of Z boson transverse momentum and diboson invariant mass.
First measurements of the W -> lnu and Z/gamma* -> ll (l = e, mu) production cross sections in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV are presented using data recorded by the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. The results are based on 2250 W -> lnu and 179 Z/gamma* -> ll candidate events selected from a data set corresponding to an integrated luminosity of approximately 320 nb-1. The measured total W and Z/gamma*-boson production cross sections times the respective leptonic branching ratios for the combined electron and muon channels are $\stotW$ * BR(W -> lnu) = 9.96 +- 0.23(stat) +- 0.50(syst) +- 1.10(lumi) nb and $\stotZg$ * BR(Z/gamma* -> ll) = 0.82 +- 0.06(stat) +- 0.05(syst) +- 0.09(lumi) nb (within the invariant mass window 66 < m_ll < 116 GeV). The W/Z cross-section ratio is measured to be 11.7 +- 0.9(stat) +- 0.4(syst). In addition, measurements of the W+ and W- production cross sections and of the lepton charge asymmetry are reported. Theoretical predictions based on NNLO QCD calculations are found to agree with the measurements.