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An Interesting Result from CMS, and its Implications

25 Oct 2016, 12:29 UTC
An Interesting Result from CMS, and its Implications
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In Friday’s post, I highlighted the importance of looking for low-mass particles whose interactions with known particles are very weak. I referred to a recent preprint in which an experimental physicist, Dr. Arno Heister, reanalyzed ALEPH data in such a search.
A few hours later, Harvard Professor Matt Reece pointed me to a paper that appeared just two weeks ago: a very interesting CMS analysis of 2011-2012 data that did a search of this type — although it appears that CMS [one of the two general purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)] didn’t think of it that way.
The title of the paper is obscure: “Search for a light pseudo–scalar Higgs boson produced in association with bottom quarks in pp collisions at 8 TeV“. Such spin-zero “pseudo-scalar” particles, which often arise in speculative models with more than one Higgs particle, usually decay to bottom quark/anti-quark pairs or tau/anti-tau pairs. But they can have a very rare decay to muon/anti-muon, which is much easier to measure. The title of the paper gives no indication that the muon/anti-muon channel is the target of the search; you have to read the abstract. Shouldn’t the words “in the dimuon channel” or “dimuon ...

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