Thursday, December 19, 2013

Exotic Higgs Decays Bounded

Matt Strassler and others have published a new paper on various generic forms of beyond the Standard Model Higgs decays, mostly with an eye towards analysis of existing and future data to see if they are there in the data, but also coming up with some limits on these kinds of decays from existing data.  The paper is summarized here with the teaser that:

[O]ne of the strongest limits we obtained, as an estimate based on reinterpreting published ATLAS and CMS data, is that no more than a few × 10-4 of Higgs particles decay to a pair of neutral spin-one particles with mass in the 20 – 62 GeV/c2 range… and the experimentalists themselves, by re-analyzing their data, could surely do better than we did!

I've argued for similar limitations based upon the apparent unitary nature of the Yukawa couplings of the Higgs boson and other data, that would limit all undiscovered fundamental particles with non-zero rest mass (i.e. that couple to the Higgs boson) of all spins to less than 8 GeV in combined mass (more accurately a combined sum of squared masses of not more than 64 GeV^2 which isn't precisely the same thing), each of which must be "sterile" with respect to all three of the Standard Model forces.

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