“Bulletin Board”

 School of Particles and Accelerator - October 27, 2012

Journal Club on Distinguishing `Higgs' Spin Hypotheses using gamma gamma and WW* Decays

Esmaeel Eskandari


Abstract: The new particle X recently discovered by the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations in searches for the Higgs boson has been observed to decay into gamma gamma, ZZ* and WW*, but its spin and parity, J^P, remain a mystery, with J^P = 0^+ and 2^+ being open possibilities. We use PYTHIA and Delphes to simulate an analysis of the angular distribution of gg to X to gamma gamma decays in a full 2012 data set, including realistic background levels. We show that this angular distribution should provide strong discrimination between the possibilities of spin zero and spin two with graviton-like couplings: ~ 3 sigma if a conservative symmetric interpretation of the log-likelihood ratio (LLR) test statistic is used, and ~ 6 sigma if a less conservative asymmetric interpretation is used. The WW and ZZ couplings of the Standard Model Higgs boson and of a 2^+ particle with graviton-like couplings are both expected to exhibit custodial symmetry. We simulate the present ATLAS and CMS search strategies for X to WW* using PYTHIA and Delphes, and show that their efficiencies in the case of a spin-two particle with graviton-like couplings are a factor ~ 1.9 smaller than in the spin-zero case. On the other hand, the ratio of X_{2^+} to WW* and ZZ* branching ratios is larger than that in the 0^+ case by a factor ~ 1.3. We find that the current ATLAS and CMS results for X to WW* and X to ZZ* decays are compatible with custodial symmetry under both the spin-zero and -two hypotheses, and that the data expected to become available during 2012 are unlikely to discriminate significantly between these possibilities.

John Ellis, Ricky Fok, Dae Sung Hwang, Veronica Sanz, Tevong You
(Submitted on 18 Oct 2012)
Time: Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 15:00 in Larak
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