Search for excited electrons in ep collisions at HERA
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A search for excited electrons is performed using the full e(+/-) p data sample collected by the HI experiment at HERA, corresponding to a total luminosity of 475 pb(-1). The electroweak decays of excited electrons e* - GT e gamma, e* - GT eZ and e* - GT vW with subsequent hadronic or leptonic decays of the W and Z bosons are considered. No evidence for excited electron production is found. Mass dependent exclusion limits on e* production cross sections and on the ratio f/Lambda of the coupling to the compositeness scale are derived within gauge mediated models. These limits extend the excluded region compared to previous excited electron searches. The e* production via contact interactions is also addressed for the first time in ep collisions. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.