Photon pair production and the intermediate-mass Higgs boson

Duane A. Dicus, Scott S.D. Willenbrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the production of photon pairs at future hadron colliders from quark-antiquark annihilation and gluon fusion via quark loops. We show that gluon fusion is just as important as quark-antiquark annihilation for photon pairs of invariant mass less than 200 GeV, and that the gluon-fusion cross section is twice as large for a light top quark as for a heavy top quark. Photon pairs are an irreducible background to the two-photon decay mode of the Higgs boson, which is important if the Higgs boson is of intermediate mass (mH<2MW) and mH<2mt, i.e., if its decay to top quarks is kinematically forbidden. If that is the case, we show that the top-quark contribution to the gluon-fusion process is small and, if mH2mt, is even destructive. We also show that a judicious choice of cuts can improve the signal-to-background ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1801-1809
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Photon pair production and the intermediate-mass Higgs boson'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this