Measuring the invisible Higgs width at the 7 and 8TeV LHC

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Abstract

The LHC is well on track toward the discovery or exclusion of a light Standard Model (SM)-like Higgs boson. Such a Higgs has a very small SM width and can easily have large branching fractions to physics beyond the SM, making Higgs decays an excellent opportunity to observe new physics. Decays into collider-invisible particles are particularly interesting as they are theoretically well motivated and relatively clean experimentally. In this work we estimate the potential of the 7 and 8TeV LHC to observe an invisible Higgs branching fraction. We analyze three channels that can be used to directly study the invisible Higgs branching ratio at the 7 TeV LHC: an invisible Higgs produced in association with (i) a hard jet; (ii) a leptonic Z; and (iii) forward tagging jets. We find that the last channel, where the Higgs is produced via weak boson fusion, is the most sensitive, allowing branching fractions as small as 40% to be probed at 20 inversefb for masses in the range between 120 and 170 GeV, including in particular the interesting region around 125 GeV. We provide an estimate of the 8 TeV LHC sensitivity to an invisibly-decaying Higgs produced via weak boson fusion and find that the reach is comparable to but not better than the reach at the 7TeV LHC. We further estimate the discovery potential at the 8 TeV LHC for cases where the Higgs has substantial branching fractions to both visible and invisible final states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number192
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Volume2012
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Beyond Standard Model
  • Higgs Physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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