The CMS Collaboration
Physics Letters B Volume 847, 10 December 2023
The observation of the production of four top quarks in proton-proton collisions is reported, based on a data sample collected by the CMS experiment at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV in 2016–2018 at the CERN LHC and corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 138fb−1. Events with two same-sign, three, or four charged leptons (electrons and muons) and additional jets are analyzed. Compared to previous results in these channels, updated identification techniques for charged leptons and jets originating from the hadronization of b quarks, as well as a revised multivariate analysis strategy to distinguish the signal process from the main backgrounds, lead to an improved expected signal significance of 4.9 standard deviations above the background-only hypothesis. Four top quark production is observed with a significance of 5.6 standard deviations, and its cross section is measured to be 17.7−3.5+3.7(stat)−1.9+2.3(syst)fb, in agreement with the available standard model predictions.