Using the Higgs to Probe Naturalness
Verhaaren, Christopher Bruce
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The extreme sensitivity of the mass of the Higgs boson to quantum corrections from high mass states, makes it 'unnaturally' light in the standard model. This 'hierarchy problem' can be solved by symmetries, which predict new particles related, by the symmetry, to standard model fields. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can potentially discover these new particles, thereby finding the solution to the hierarchy problem. However, the dynamics of the Higgs boson is also sensitive to this new physics. We show that in many scenarios the Higgs can be a complementary and powerful probe of the hierarchy problem at the LHC and future colliders. If the top quark partners carry the color charge of the strong nuclear force, the production of Higgs pairs is affected. This effect is tightly correlated with single Higgs production, implying that only modest enhancements in di-Higgs production occur when the top partners are heavy. However, if the top partners are light, we show that di-Higgs production is a useful complementary probe to single Higgs production. We verify this result in the context of a simplified supersymmetric model. If the top partners do not carry color charge, their direct production is greatly reduced. Nevertheless, we show that such scenarios can be revealed through Higgs dynamics. We find that many color neutral frameworks leave observable traces in Higgs couplings, which, in some cases, may be the only way to probe these theories at the LHC. Some realizations of the color neutral framework also lead to exotic decays of the Higgs with displaced vertices. We show that these decays are so striking that the projected sensitivity for these searches, at hadron colliders, is comparable to that of searches for colored top partners. Taken together, these three case studies show the efficacy of the Higgs as a probe of naturalness.