Ian Low - Harvard University

Ian Low
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Ian Low
Harvard University
United States

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (50)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (25)
High Energy Physics - Theory (8)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (4)
Astrophysics (3)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons (1)

Publications Authored By Ian Low

Solutions to the electroweak hierarchy problem typically introduce a new symmetry to stabilize the quadratic ultraviolet sensitivity in the self-energy of the Higgs boson. The new symmetry is either broken softly or collectively, as for example in supersymmetric and little Higgs theories. At low energies such theories contain naturalness partners of the Standard Model fields which are responsible for canceling the quadratic divergence in the squared Higgs mass. Read More

We present a comprehensive study of the modifications of Higgs couplings in the SO(5)/SO(4) minimal composite model. We focus on three couplings of central importance to Higgs phenomenology at the LHC: the couplings to top and bottom quarks and the coupling to two gluons. We consider three possible embeddings of the fermionic partners in 5, 10 and 14 of SO(5) and find tth and bbh couplings to be always suppressed in 5 and 10, while in 14 they can be either enhanced or suppressed. Read More

We revisit the calculation of relic density of dark matter particles co-annihilating with a top or bottom partner, by properly including the QCD bound-states (onia) effects of the colored partners, as well as the relevant electroweak processes which become important in the low mass region. We carefully set up the complete framework that incorporates the relevant contributions and investigate their effects on the cosmologically preferred mass spectrum, which turn out to be comparable in size to those coming from the Sommerfeld enhancement. We apply the calculation to three scenarios: bino-stop and bino-sbottom co-annihilations in supersymmetry, and a vector dark matter co-annihilating with a fermionic top partner. Read More

We consider indirect detection of meta-stable dark matter particles decaying into a stable neutral particle and a pair of standard model fermions. Due to the softer energy spectra from the three-body decay, such models could potentially explain the AMS-02 positron excess without being constrained by the Fermi-LAT gamma-ray data and the cosmic ray anti-proton measurements. We scrutinize over different final state fermions, paying special attention to handling of the cosmic ray background and including various contributions from cosmic ray propagation with the help of the \textsc{LikeDM} package. Read More

Many new physics models contain a neutral scalar resonance that can be predominantly produced via gluon fusion through loops. In such a case, there could be important effects of additional particles, that in turn may hadronize before decaying and form bound states. This interesting possibility may lead to novel signatures with double peaks that can be searched for at the LHC. Read More

Weakly-coupled models for the 750 GeV diphoton resonance often invoke new particles carrying both color and/or electric charges to mediate loop-induced couplings of the resonance to two gluons and two photons. The new colored particles may not be stable and could decay into final states containing standard model particles. We consider an electroweak doublet of vector-like quarks (VLQs) carrying electric charges of 5/3 and 2/3, respectively, which mediate the loop-induced couplings of the 750 GeV resonance. Read More

Assuming a heavy electroweak singlet scalar, which couples to the Standard Model gauge bosons only through loop-induced couplings, SU(2)_L x U(1)_Y gauge invariance imposes interesting patterns on its decays into electroweak gauge bosons, which are dictated by only two free parameters. Therefore experimental measurements on any two of the four possible electroweak channels would determine the remaining two decay channels completely. Furthermore, searches in the WW/ZZ channels probe a complimentary region of parameter space from searches in the gamma-gamma/Z-gamma channels. Read More

We show both the leading and subleading double soft theorems of the nonlinear sigma model follow from a shift symmetry enforcing Adler's zero condition in the presence of an unbroken global symmetry. They do not depend on the underlying coset G/H and are universal infrared behaviors of Nambu-Goldstone bosons. Although nonlinear sigma models contain an infinite number of interaction vertices, the double soft limit is determined entirely by a single four-point interaction, together with the existence of Adler's zeros. Read More

Multiple analyses from ATLAS and CMS collaborations, including searches for ttH production, supersymmetric particles and vector-like quarks, observed excesses in the same-sign dilepton channel containing b-jets and missing transverse energy in the LHC Run 1 data. In the context of little Higgs theories with T parity, we explain these excesses using vector-like T-odd quarks decaying into a top quark, a W boson and the lightest T-odd particle (LTP). For heavy vector-like quarks, decay topologies containing the LTP have not been searched for at the LHC. Read More

The Next-to-Minimal Supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model (NMSSM) with a Higgs boson of mass 125 GeV can be compatible with stop masses of order of the electroweak scale, thereby reducing the degree of fine-tuning necessary to achieve electroweak symmetry breaking. Moreover, in an attractive region of the NMSSM parameter space, corresponding to the "alignment limit" in which one of the neutral Higgs fields lies approximately in the same direction in field space as the doublet Higgs vacuum expectation value, the observed Higgs boson is predicted to have Standard-Model-like properties. We derive analytical expressions for the alignment conditions and show that they point toward a more natural region of parameter space for electroweak symmetry breaking, while allowing for perturbativity of the theory up to the Planck scale. Read More

Run 1 data of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) contain excessive events in the same-sign dilepton channel with b-jets and missing transverse energy (MET), which were observed by five separate analyses from ATLAS and CMS collaborations. We show that these events could be explained by direct production of top squarks (stops) in supersymmetry. In particular, a right-handed stop with a mass of 550 GeV decaying into 2 t quarks, 2 W bosons, and MET could fit the observed excess without being constrained by other direct search limits from Run 1. Read More

Determination of Higgs self-interactions through the double Higgs production from gluon fusion is a major goal of current and future collider experiments. We point out this channel could help disentangle and resolve the nature of ultraviolet contributions to Higgs couplings to two gluons. Analytic properties of the double Higgs amplitudes near kinematic threshold are used to study features resulting from scalar and fermionic loop particles mediating the interaction. Read More

Top quark loops in Higgs production via gluon fusion at large invariant final state masses can induce important interference effects in searches for additional Higgs bosons as predicted in, e.g., Higgs portal scenarios and the MSSM when the heavy scalar is broad or the final state resolution is poor. Read More

Long ago Coleman, Callan, Wess and Zumino (CCWZ) constructed the general effective lagrangian for nonlinearly realized symmetry by finding all possible nonlinear representations of the broken group G which become linear when restricted to the unbroken group H. However, in the case of a single Nambu-Goldstone boson (NGB), which corresponds to a broken U(1), the effective lagrangian can also be obtained by imposing a constant shift symmetry. In this work we generalize the shift symmetry approach to multiple NGBs and show that, when they furnish a linear representation of H that can be embedded in a symmetric coset, it is possible to derive the CCWZ lagrangian by imposing 1) the "Adler's zero condition," which requires scattering amplitudes to vanish when emitting a single soft NGB, and 2) closure of shift symmetry with the linearly realized symmetry; knowledge of the broken group G is not required at all. Read More

Models addressing the naturalness of a light Higgs boson typically employ symmetries, either bosonic or fermionic, to stabilize the Higgs mass. We consider a setup with the minimal amount of symmetries: four shift symmetries acting on the four components of the Higgs doublet, subject to the constraints of linearly realized SU(2)xU(1) electroweak symmetry. Up to terms that explicitly violate the shift symmetries, the effective lagrangian can be derived, irrespective of the spontaneously broken group G in the ultraviolet, and is universal in all models where the Higgs arises as a pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone boson (PNGB). Read More

Precision measurements of the Higgs boson properties at the LHC provide relevant constraints on possible weak-scale extensions of the Standard Model (SM). In the context of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) these constraints seem to suggest that all the additional, non-SM-like Higgs bosons should be heavy, with masses larger than about 400 GeV. This article shows that such results do not hold when the theory approaches the conditions for "alignment independent of decoupling", where the lightest CP-even Higgs boson has SM-like tree-level couplings to fermions and gauge bosons, independently of the non-standard Higgs boson masses. Read More

Gluon-initiated double Higgs production is the most important channel to extract the Higgs self-coupling at hadron colliders. However, new physics could enter into this channel in several distinctive ways including, but not limited to, the Higgs self-coupling, a modified top Yukawa coupling, and an anomalous Higgs-top quartic coupling. In this work we initiate a study on the interplay of these effects in the kinematic distributions of the Higgs bosons. Read More

Current experimental data on the 125 GeV Higgs boson still allow room for large CP violation. The observables usually considered in this context are triple product asymmetries, which require an input of four visible particles after imposing momentum conservation. We point out a new class of CP violating observables in Higgs physics which require only three reconstructed momenta. Read More

If a new heavy particle phi is produced in association with the top quark in a hadron collider, the production cross section exhibits a collinear singularity of the form log(m_phi/m_t), which can be resummed by introducing a top quark parton distribution function (PDF). We reassess the necessity of such resummation in the context of a high energy pp collider. We find that the introduction of a top PDF typically has a small effect at sqrt(S) ~ 100 TeV due to three factors: 1) alpha_s at the scale mu = m_phi is quite small when log(m_phi/m_t) is large, 2) the Bjorken x << 1 for m_phi < ~10 TeV, and 3) the kinematic region where log(m_phi/m_t) >> 1 is suppressed by phase space. Read More

In models with an extended Higgs sector there exists an alignment limit, in which the lightest CP-even Higgs boson mimics the Standard Model Higgs. The alignment limit is commonly associated with the decoupling limit, where all non-standard scalars are significantly heavier than the $Z$ boson. However, alignment can occur irrespective of the mass scale of the rest of the Higgs sector. Read More

New particles entering into self-energies of the Higgs boson would necessarily modify loop-induced couplings of the Higgs, if the new particle carries standard model gauge quantum numbers. For a 1 TeV new particle, deviations in these "Higgs oblique corrections" are generically of the order of v^2/(1 TeV)^2 ~ 5%. We study constraints on masses and couplings of new scalars and fermions that can be derived from 5-10% deviations in the Higgs digluon and diphoton partial widths. Read More

Current searches for direct production of scalar top quarks, or stops, in supersymmetry focus on their decays into W boson + b quark + neutralino by way of top + neutralino and bottom + chargino. While the polarization of the top quark depends on the stop mixing, the chargino turns out to be fully polarized when the bottom Yukawa coupling can be neglected relative the top Yukawa coupling. We compute the energy and angular spectra of the charged lepton in the chargino channel, which could serve as the spin-analyzer of the chargino. Read More

Strongly modified Higgs-photon-photon and Higgs-gluon-gluon couplings indicate new electroweak and color mediators, respectively, with a light mass and a significant coupling to the Higgs boson. We point out the Higgs boson could have a significant decay width into the mediators and propose uncovering the hidden new physics through such exotic decays, which can probe the Higgs coupling with the mediators directly. Focusing on the electroweak mediators, we study a simplified model using as an example final states with tau leptons and neutrinos. Read More

Current Higgs data at the Large Hadron Collider is compatible with a SM signal at the 2$\sigma$ level, but the central value of the signal strength in the diphoton channel is enhanced with respect to the SM expectation. If the enhancement resides in the diphoton partial decay width, the data could be accommodated in the Minimally Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) with highly mixed light staus. We revisit the issue of vacuum instability induced by large mixing in the stau sector, including effects of a radiatively-corrected tau Yukawa coupling. Read More

We interpret the new particle at the Large Hadron Collider as a CP-even scalar and investigate its electroweak quantum number. Assuming an unbroken custodial invariance as suggested by precision electroweak measurements, only four possibilities are allowed if the scalar decays to pairs of gauge bosons, as exemplified by a dilaton/radion, a non-dilatonic electroweak singlet scalar, an electroweak doublet scalar, and electroweak triplet scalars. We show that current LHC data already strongly disfavor both the dilatonic and non-dilatonic singlet imposters. Read More

Motivated by recent results from Higgs searches at the Large Hadron Collider, we consider possibilities to enhance the diphoton decay width of the Higgs boson over the Standard Model expectation, without modifying either its production rate or the partial widths in the WW and ZZ channels. Studying effects of new charged scalars, fermions and vector bosons, we find that significant variations in the diphoton width may be possible if the new particles have light masses of the order of a few hundred GeV and sizeable couplings to the Higgs boson. Such couplings could arise naturally if there is large mass mixing between two charged particles that is induced by the Higgs vacuum expectation value. Read More

Fermi-LAT has confirmed the excess in cosmic positron fraction observed by PAMELA, which could be explained by dark matter annihilating or decaying in the center of the galaxy. Most existing models postulate that the dark matter annihilates or decays into final states with two or four leptons, which would produce diffuse gamma ray emissions that are in tension with data measured by Fermi-LAT. We point out that the tension could be alleviated if the dark matter decays into three-body final states with a pair of leptons and a missing particle. Read More

The final state obtained when a Higgs boson decays to a photon and a Z boson has been mostly overlooked in current searches for a light Higgs boson. However, when the Z boson decays leptonically, all final state particles in this channel can be measured, allowing for accurate reconstructions of the Higgs mass and angular correlations. We determine the sensitivity of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) running at center of masses energies of 8 and 14 TeV to Standard Model (SM) Higgs bosons with masses in the 120 - 130 GeV range. Read More

Current limits from the Large Hadron Collider exclude a standard model-like Higgs mass above 150 GeV, by placing an upper bound on the Higgs production rate. We emphasize that, alternatively, the limit could be interpreted as a lower bound on the total decay width of the Higgs boson. If the invisible decay width of the Higgs is of the same order as the visible decay width, a heavy Higgs boson could be consistent with null results from current searches. Read More

Leptonic decays of the Higgs boson in the ZZ* channel yield what is known as the golden channel due to its clean signature and good total invariant mass resolution. In addition, the full kinematic distribution of the decay products can be reconstructed, which, nonetheless, is not taken into account in traditional search strategy relying only on measurements of the total invariant mass. In this work we implement a type of multivariate analysis known as the matrix element method, which exploits differences in the full production and decay matrix elements between the Higgs boson and the dominant irreducible background from q bar{q} -> ZZ*. Read More

An electroweak singlet scalar can couple to pairs of vector bosons through loop-induced dimension five operators. Compared to a Standard Model Higgs boson, the singlet decay widths in the diphotons and Z gamma channels are generically enhanced, while decays into massive final states like WW and ZZ are kinematically disfavored. The overall event rates into gamma gamma and Z gamma can exceed the Standard Model expectations by orders of magnitude. Read More

We consider a new scenario for supersymmetric decaying dark matter without R-parity violation in theories with goldstini, which arise if supersymmetry is broken independently by multiple sequestered sectors. The uneaten goldstino naturally has a long lifetime and decays into three-body final states including the gravitino, which escapes detection, and two visible particles. The goldstini low-energy effective interactions are derived, which can be non-universal and allow the dark matter to be leptophilic, in contrast to the case of a single sector supersymmetry breaking. Read More

We present a prescription for computing the gluon fusion production rate of a composite Higgs boson, which arises as a pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone boson, using effective lagrangians. The calculation incorporates three different effects due to the composite nature of the Higgs, some of which were neglected previously. We apply the prescription to models with and without the collective breaking mechanism. Read More

If the excess events from the CoGeNT experiment arise from elastic scatterings of a light dark matter off the nuclei, crossing symmetry implies non-vanishing annihilation cross-sections of the light dark matter into hadronic final states inside the galactic halo, which we confront with the anti-proton spectrum measured by the PAMELA collaboration. We consider two types of effective interactions between the dark matter and the quarks: 1) contact interactions from integrating out heavy particles and 2) long-range interactions due to the electromagnetic properties of the dark matter. The lack of excess in the anti-proton spectrum results in tensions for a scalar and, to a less extent, a vector dark matter interacting with the quarks through the Higgs portal. Read More

One or more new heavy resonances may be discovered in experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. In order to determine if such a resonance is the long-awaited Higgs boson, it is essential to pin down its spin, CP, and electroweak quantum numbers. Here we describe how to determine what role a newly-discovered neutral CP-even scalar plays in electroweak symmetry breaking, by measuring its relative decay rates into pairs of electroweak vector bosons: WW, ZZ, \gamma\gamma, and Z\gamma. Read More

We take the recent result from the CDMS collaboration as a hint that the dark matter has an elastic scattering cross section with the nucleon in the vicinity of 10^-7 pb. By crossing symmetry such a cross section implies annihilation of dark matter into hadrons inside the halo, resulting in an anti-proton flux that could be constrained by data from the PAMELA collaboration if one includes a large boost factor necessary to explain the PAMELA excess in the positron fraction. As an illustration, we present a model-independent analysis for a fermionic dark matter and study the upper bound on the boost factor using the PAMELA anti-proton flux. Read More

We discuss general on-shell couplings of a scalar with two Z bosons using an operator analysis. In addition to the operator originated from the Higgs mechanism, two dimension-five operators, one CP-even and one CP-odd, are generated only at the loop-level. Simple formulas are derived for the differential decay distributions when the Z pair subsequently decay into four leptons by computing the helicity amplitudes, from which it is shown the CP-odd operator merely induces a phase shift in the azimuthal angular distribution between the two decay planes of the Z bosons. Read More

We derive constraints on the sign of couplings in an effective Higgs Lagrangian using prime principles such as the naturalness principle, global symmetries, and unitarity. Specifically, we study four dimension-six operators, O_H, O_y, O_g, and O_gamma, which contribute to the production and decay of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), among other things. Assuming the Higgs is a fundamental scalar, we find: 1) the coefficient of O_H is positive except when there are triplet scalars, resulting in a reduction in the Higgs on-shell coupling from their standard model (SM) expectations if no other operators contribute, 2) the linear combination of O_H and O_y controlling the overall Higgs coupling to fermion is always reduced, 3) the sign of O_g induced by a new colored fermion is such that it interferes destructively with the SM top contribution in the gluon fusion production of the Higgs, if the new fermion cancels the top quadratic divergence in the Higgs mass, and 4) the correlation between naturalness and the sign of O_gamma is similar to that of O_g, when there is a new set of heavy electroweak gauge bosons. Read More

Using an effective Lagrangian approach, we perform a model-independent analysis of the interactions among electroweak gauge bosons and the third generation quarks, i.e. the Wtb, Ztt and Zbb couplings. Read More

If the lightest CP-even Higgs boson in the MSSM is discovered at the LHC, two measurements could be made simultaneously: the Higgs mass m_h and the event rate Bs(gg -> h -> gamma gamma). We study to what extent the combination of these two measurements would allow us to extract parameters in the stop mass matrix, including the off-diagonal mixing term, with a focus on the MSSM golden region where the stops are light and the mixing is large. Even though both the production cross-section and the decay amplitude are not sensitive to supersymmetric parameters outside of the stop sector, the branching ratio depends on the total decay width, which is dominated by the Higgs decay to b quarks and sensitive to both the pseudo-scalar mass m_A and the supersymmetric Higgs mass \mu. Read More

We study the decay of a Z' boson into two Z bosons by extending the Landau-Yang theorem to a parent particle decaying into two Z bosons. For a spin-1 parent the theorem predicts: 1) there are only two possible couplings and 2) the normalized differential cross-section depends on kinematics only through a phase shift in the azimuthal angle between the two decay planes of the Z boson. When the parent is a Z' the two possible couplings are anomaly-induced and CP-violating, respectively. Read More

We construct models with a Kaluza-Klein (KK) parity in a five- dimensional warped geometry, in an attempt to address the little hierarchy problem present in setups with bulk Standard Model fields. The lightest KK particle (LKP) is stable and can play the role of dark matter. We consider the possibilities of gluing two identical slices of 5D AdS in either the UV (IR-UV-IR model) or the IR region (UV-IR-UV model) and discuss the model-building issues as well as phenomenological properties in both cases. Read More

We propose using the lightest CP-even Higgs boson in the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM) to probe the stop sector. Unlike measuring stop masses in production/decay processes which requires knowledge of masses and mixing angles of other superparticles, the strategy depends little on supersymmetric parameters other than those in the stop sector in a large region of parameter space. We show that measurements of the Higgs mass and the production rate in the gluon fusion channel, the dominant channel at the LHC, allow for determination of two parameters in the stop mass-squared matrix, including the off-diagonal mixing term. Read More

We study the possibility of extracting geometric information on the shape of the extra dimension from four-dimensional data such as the mass of the Kaluza-Klein (KK) mode. Assuming one compact extra dimension whose geometry can be considered as perturbations in the flat background, we show that if there is a Z2 symmetry in the extra dimension, for example the KK parity in models with Universal Extra Dimensions, then the warp factor in the metric is completely determined by the KK mass alone. Without KK parity, additional information depending on the boundary conditions is needed to fully reconstruct the metric, even though such information may be experimentally challenging to obtain. Read More

We rederive AdS/CFT predictions for infrared two-point functions by an entirely four dimensional approach, without reference to holography. This approach, originally due to Migdal in the context of QCD, utilizes an extrapolation from the ultraviolet to the infrared using a Pade approximation of the two-point function. We show that the Pade approximation and AdS/CFT give the same leading order predictions, and discuss including power corrections such as those due to condensates of gluons and quarks in QCD. Read More

We consider a class of little Higgs theories with T-parity where ALL new particles responsible for canceling the standard model contributions to the one-loop quadratic divergences in the Higgs potential are odd under T-parity, including the heavy top partner which was previously taken to be T-even. The new construction significantly simplifies the spectrum in the top sector and completely changes the phenomenology of the top partner. At hadron colliders the signals of this class of T-invariant models appear to be even more similar to supersymmetry. Read More

Spontaneous Lorentz violation due to a time-dependent expectation value for a massless scalar has been suggested as a method for dynamically generating dark energy. A natural candidate for the scalar is a Goldstone boson arising from the spontaneous breaking of a U(1) symmetry. We investigate the low-energy effective action for such a Goldstone boson in a general class of models involving only scalars, proving that if the scalars have standard kinetic terms then at the {\em classical} level the effective action does not have the required features for spontaneous Lorentz violation to occur asymptotically $(t \to \infty)$ in an expanding FRW universe. Read More

We consider a minimal grand unified model where the dark matter arises from non-thermal decays of a messenger particle in the TeV range. The messenger particle compensates for the baryon asymmetry in the standard model and gives similar number densities to both the baryon and the dark matter. The non-thermal dark matter, if massive in the GeV range, could have a free-streaming scale in the order of 0. Read More

The measured densities of dark and baryonic matter are surprisingly close to each other, even though the baryon asymmetry and the dark matter are usually explained by unrelated mechanisms. We consider a scenario where the dark matter S is produced non-thermally from the decay of a messenger particle X, which carries the baryon number and compensates for the baryon asymmetry in the Universe, thereby establishing a connection between the baryonic and dark matter densities. We propose a simple model to realize this scenario, adding only a light singlet fermion S and a colored particle X which has a mass in the O(TeV) range and a lifetime to appear long-lived in collider detector. Read More

We construct T-parity invariant extensions of the littlest Higgs model, in which only linear representations of the full symmetry group are employed, without recourse to the non-linear representations introduced by Coleman, Callan, Wess, and Zumino (CCWZ). These models are based on the symmetry breaking pattern SU(5)_l x H_r / SO(5), where H_r can be SO(5) or other larger symmetry groups. The structure of the models in the SU(5)_l sector is identical to the littlest Higgs model based on SU(5)/SO(5). Read More