Marc Sher - William and Mary

Marc Sher
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Marc Sher
William and Mary
United States

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (50)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (8)
High Energy Physics - Theory (2)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Nuclear Experiment (1)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Marc Sher

In the lepton-specific version of two Higgs doublet models, a discrete symmetry is used to couple one Higgs, $\Phi_2$, to quarks and the other, $\Phi_1$, to leptons. The symmetry eliminates tree level flavor changing neutral currents (FCNC). Motivated by strong constraints on such currents in the quark sector from meson-antimeson mixing, and by hints of $h \to \mu\tau$ in the lepton sector, we study a simple three Higgs doublet model in which one doublet couples to quarks and the other two to leptons. Read More

CMS has reported indications (2.4\sigma) of the decay of the Higgs boson into \mu\tau. The simplest explanation for such a decay would be a general Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM). Read More

The Lee-Wick Standard Model is a highly constrained model which solves the gauge hierarchy problem at the expense of including states with negative norm. It appears to be macroscopically causal and consistent. This model is extended by considering the two-Higgs doublet extension of the Lee-Wick model. Read More

Recently, Kajiyama, Okada and Yagyu (KOY) proposed an electron/muon specific two Higgs doublet model. In this model, an S3 symmetry suppresses flavor changing neutral currents instead of a Z2 symmetry. In the "Type I" version of the model, the heavy Higgs bosons have a greatly enhanced coupling to electrons and muons. Read More

If the Standard Model (SM) is valid up to extremely high energy scales, then the Higgs potential becomes unstable at approximately $10^{11}$ GeV. However, calculations of the lifetime of the SM vacuum have shown that it vastly exceeds the age of the Universe. It was pointed out by two of us (VB,EM) that these calculations are extremely sensitive to effects from Planck scale higher-dimensional operators and, without knowledge of these operators, firm conclusions about the lifetime of the SM vacuum cannot be drawn. Read More

We analyze a model of hybrid natural inflation based on the smallest non-Abelian discrete group S_3. Leading invariant terms in the scalar potential have an accidental global symmetry that is spontaneously broken, providing a pseudo-Goldstone boson that is identified as the inflaton. The S_3 symmetry restricts both the form of the inflaton potential and the couplings of the inflaton field to the waterfall fields responsible for the end of inflation. Read More

We determine constraints on the Lee-Wick Higgs sector obtained from the full LHC Higgs boson data set. We determine the current lower bound on the heavy neutral Lee-Wick scalar, as well as projected bounds at a 14 TeV LHC with 300 and 3000 inverse femtobarns of integrated luminosity. We point out that the first sign of new physics in this model may be the observation of a deviation from standard model expectations of the lighter neutral Higgs signal strengths corresponding to production via gluon-gluon fusion and decay to either tau or $Z$ pairs. Read More

In Two Higgs doublet extensions of the Standard Model, flavor-changing neutral current constraints can be addressed by introducing a U(1)' gauge symmetry, under which the Higgs doublets carry different charges. That scenario implies the presence of a H^\pm W^\mp Z' vertex at tree level. For the light "dark" Z model (Z'=Z_d) with m_{Z_d} < 10 GeV, such a coupling leads to the dominant decay mode H^\pm \to W^\pm + Z_d (for m_{H^\pm} \lsim 175 GeV), rather than the usual type I model decay H^\pm \to \tau^\pm \nu, for a broad range of parameters. Read More

The simplest extension of the Two Higgs Doublet Model is the addition of a real scalar singlet, S. The effects of mixing between the singlet and the doublets can be manifested in two ways. It can modify the couplings of the 126 GeV Higgs boson, h, and it can lead to direct detection of the heavy Higgs at the LHC. Read More

If there is an additional U(1) symmetry under which Standard Model particles are singlets, then there can be mixing between the additional gauge boson and the hypercharge gauge boson. This can lead to a very light, but weakly coupled "dark" gauge boson, the $Z_d$, with a mass of O(1) GeV. If the $Z_d$ gets its mass entirely from a Higgs singlet, it is called a dark photon; whereas if there is a second Higgs doublet, it is called a dark Z. Read More

Almost all data collected at the LHC during the 7 and 8 TeV runs has now been analysed by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. Its consistency with the Standard Model (SM) predictions has cornered the CP-conserving two-Higgs doublet model (2HDM) into the SM limit, sin (\beta -\alpha) = 1. However, there are still allowed regions of the 2HDM parameter space away from this limit. Read More

Since the discovery of a Higgs boson at the LHC and the measurement of many of its branching ratios, there have been numerous studies exploring the restrictions these results place on the parameter space of two Higgs doublet models. We extend these results to include the full data set and study the expected sensitivity that can be obtained with 300 and 3000 inverse femptobarn of integrated luminosity. We consider searches for a heavy Standard Model Higgs boson, with a mass ranging from 200 to 400 GeV, and show that the non-observation of such a Higgs boson can substantially narrow the allowed regions of parameter space in two Higgs doublet models. Read More

We confront the most common version of the CP-conserving 2HDM with LHC data, taking into account all previously available experimental data. We also discuss the scenario where the 125 GeV Higgs discovered at the LHC is the lightest neutral scalar of a particular CP-violating 2HDM. In this scenario we focus on what data can already tell us about the amount of mixing between CP-even and CP-odd states. Read More

We perform a detailed study of a specific Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM) with a U(1) gauge symmetry, instead of a typical Z2 discrete symmetry, containing a very light gauge boson Z' (GeV scale or below). The Standard Model (SM) fermions do not carry U(1) charges, but induced couplings to the Z' (called the dark Z) are generated through mixing with the SM neutral gauge bosons. Such a light Z' could explain some astrophysical anomalies as well as the muon g-2 deviation, and has been the subject of great experimental interest. Read More

In this talk, prospects for the charged Higgs in non-SUSY models are reviewed, in view of LHC results (as of October, 2012). The four models (Type I, Type II, lepton-specific and flipped) without tree level flavor-changing neutral currents are discussed. Updates for the case in which the charged Higgs is lighter than the top, leading to production in top decays, are presented along with expectations for the future. Read More

LHC has reported tantalizing hints for a Higgs boson of mass 125 GeV decaying into two photons. We focus on two-Higgs-doublet Models, and study the interesting possibility that the heavier scalar (H) has been seen, with the lightest scalar (h) having thus far escaped detection. Non-observation of h at LEP severely constrains the parameter-space of two-Higgs-doublet models. Read More

We study the implications for Two Higgs Doublet Models of the recent announcement at the LHC giving a tantalizing hint for a Higgs boson of mass 125 GeV decaying into two photons. We require that the experimental result be within a factor of two of the theoretical Standard Model prediction, and analyze the type I and type II models as well as the lepton-specific and flipped models, subject to this requirement. It is assumed that there is no new physics other than two Higgs doublets. Read More

We discuss theoretical and phenomenological aspects of two-Higgs-doublet extensions of the Standard Model. In general, these extensions have scalar mediated flavour changing neutral currents which are strongly constrained by experiment. Various strategies are discussed to control these flavour changing scalar currents and their phenomenological consequences are analysed. Read More

In a recently proposed neutrinophilic two-Higgs doublet model, the low-energy (sub-MeV) effective theory consists of a real scalar with a vev of O(0.1) eV and three Dirac neutrinos. Other models could lead to the same low energy theory. Read More

We propose an orbifolded, warped, extra dimension scenario in which the visible brane is not parallel to the hidden brane. This leads automatically to Lorentz violation in the visible, four dimensional world. The background solution to the Einstein equations is a function of a parameter that can be identified with the amount of 'tilting' of the brane. Read More

In the leptophilic model, one Higgs doublet couples to quarks and another couples to leptons. We study the supersymmetric version of this model, concentrating on the tightly constrained Higgs sector, which has four doublets. Constraints from perturbativity, unitarity, and LEP bounds are considered. Read More

Motivated by large nu_mu-nu_tau flavor mixing, we consider mu-tau production at hadron colliders via dimension-6 effective operators, which can be attributed to new physics in the flavor sector at a higher scale Lambda. Current bounds on many of these operators from low energy experiments are very weak or nonexistent, and they may lead to clean mu+tau- and mu-tau+ signals at hadron colliders. At the Tevatron with 8 inverse femtobarns, one can exceed current bounds for most operators, with most 2 sigma sensitivities being in the 6-24 TeV range. Read More

New models have recently been proposed in which a second Higgs doublet couples only to the lepton doublets and right-handed neutrinos, yielding Dirac neutrino masses. The vacuum value of this second "nu-Higgs" doublet is made very small by means of a very softly-broken $Z_2$ or U(1) symmetry. The latter is technically natural and avoids fine-tuning and very light scalars. Read More

We study the effects of a fourth generation t-prime quark in various extensions of the standard model. In the Randall-Sundrum model, the decay t-prime -> t Z has a large branching ratio that could be detected at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We also look at the two-Higgs doublet models I, II and III, and note that, in the latter, the branching ratio of t-prime -> t H, where H is a Higgs scalar or pseudoscalar, is huge and we discuss detection at the LHC. Read More


In the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) with three generations of fermions, there is a stringent upper bound on the mass of the lightest neutral Higgs h, and the mass of the charged Higgs H^+, must be close (within tens of GeV) to the heavier neutral Higgs, H, and the pseudoscalar Higgs A. In this Brief Report, we show that in the four generation MSSM, the upper bound on the h mass is much higher, as high as 400 GeV, and H^+ is generally much heavier than the A, allowing the H^+ -> A W^+ decay, potentially changing search strategies for both the charged Higgs and the pseudoscalar. The H mass, on the other hand, remains within tens of GeV of the charged Higgs mass. Read More

Affiliations: 1St Mary's, MD, 2William and Mary, 3William and Mary

We study the effects of a fourth generation t' quark in various extensions of the standard model. In the Randall-Sundrum model, the decay t'--> t Z has a large branching ratio that could be detected at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We also look at the two-Higgs doublet models I, II and III, and note that, in the latter, the branching ratio of t' --> t H, where H is a Higgs scalar or pseudoscalar, is huge and we discuss detection at the LHC. Read More

Affiliations: 1William-Mary Coll., 2William-Mary Coll., 3Concordia Univ.

A sequential fourth generation of quarks and leptons is allowed by precision electroweak constraints if the mass splitting between the heavy quarks is between 50 and 80 GeV. Although heavy quarks can be easily detected at the LHC, it is very difficult to detect a sequential heavy charged lepton, L, due to large backgrounds. Should the L mass be above 250 GeV, it can not be pair-produced at a 500 GeV ILC. Read More

We describe higher-dimensional theories whose low-energy 4D descriptions contain larger gauge or global symmetry groups. As an example, we construct a Higgsless SU(2) x U(1) model of electroweak symmetry breaking. The 5D SU(2) gauge invariance contains both the weak SU(2) gauge group and a custodial symmetry that protects the rho parameter. Read More

The existing bounds from CDF on the masses of the fourth generation quarks, t' and b', are reexamined. The bound of 256 GeV on the t' mass assumes that the primary decay of the t' is into q+W, which is not the case for a substantial region of parameter space. The bound of 268 GeV on the b' mass assumes that the branching ratio for b' --> b+Z is very large, which is not only not true for much of parameter space, but is {\em never} true for b' masses above 255 GeV. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary

This paper has been withdrawn by the authors due to a coding error and a missed diagram. The calculation has been completely redone, with very different results, and with an additional author, and will be submitted to the arxiv shortly. Read More

We observe several interesting phenomena in a technicolor-like model of electroweak symmetry breaking based on the D4-D8-D8bar system of Sakai and Sugimoto. The benefit of holographic models based on D-brane configurations is that both sides of the holographic duality are well understood. We find that the lightest technicolor resonances contribute negatively to the Peskin-Takeuchi S-parameter, but heavy resonances do not decouple and lead generically to large, positive values of S, consistent with standard estimates in QCD-like theories. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary, 3William and Mary

Violations of Lorentz invariance that appear via operators of dimension four or less are completely parameterized in the Standard Model Extension (SME). In the pure photonic sector of the SME, there are nineteen dimensionless, Lorentz-violating parameters. Eighteen of these have experimental upper bounds ranging between 10^{-11} and 10^{-32}; the remaining parameter, k_tr, is isotropic and has a much weaker bound of order 10^{-4}. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary

If the lowest lying Kaluza-Klein states in Randall-Sundrum (RS1) models have masses in the 10-100 TeV range, direct production of these states at the LHC or ILC is impossible, and electroweak precision measurements may not be sufficiently sensitive. We address the possibility that high-precision measurements of top pair production at the ILC may provide the first evidence of these states. We consider RS1 models with fermions on and off the brane, with bulk left and right handed mass terms, discuss brane kinetic terms and calculate corrections to top pair production in these models. Read More

The multiple point principle (MPP) is applied to the non--supersymmetric two-Higgs doublet extension of the Standard Model (SM). The existence of a large set of degenerate vacua at some high energy scale caused by the MPP results in a few relations between Higgs self-coupling constants which can be examined at future colliders. The numerical analysis reveals that these MPP conditions constrain the mass of the SM--like Higgs boson to lie below 180 GeV for a wide set of MPP scales $\Lambda$ and $\tan\beta$. Read More

Affiliations: 1The College of William & Mary, 2The College of William & Mary

We study previously unconsidered 3-3-1 models which are characterized by each lepton generation having a different representation under the gauge group. Flavor-changing neutral currents in the lepton sector occur in these models. To satisfy constraints on mu to 3e decays, the Z' must be heavier than 2 to 40 TeV, depending on the model and assignments of the leptons. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary

In models with universal extra dimensions, the isosinglet Kaluza-Klein (KK) quarks, q^1, have very narrow widths, of O(5-10) MeV, and will thus hadronize. Studies of KK-quarkonia, \bar{q}^1 q^1, show very sharp resonances and dramatic signatures at the Linear Collider. In this Brief Report, we consider the possibility of detecting KK-mesons, \bar{q}^1 q, and show that detection at a Linear Collider is unlikely. Read More

In brane world scenarios in which only gravity can propagate in the extra dimensions, effects on the gravitational force may be experimentally testable if there are two or three large extra dimensions. The strength of the force at distances smaller than the compactification radius will be sensitive to the volume of the extra dimensions, but the determination of the shape requires knowing the gravitational potential at intermediate scales. We determine the dependence of the potential vs. Read More


We present a complete analysis of the neutral fermion sector of supersymmetric E_6-inspired low energy models containing an extra SU(2), concentrating on the Alternate Left-Right and Inert models. We show that the R-parity conserving scenario always exhibits a large Dirac mass for \nu_L with maximal mixing with an isosinglet neutrino, and that R-parity violating scenarios do not change the picture other than allowing further mixing with another isosinglet. In order to recover Standard Model phenomenology, additional assumptions in the form of discrete symmetries and/or new interactions are needed. Read More


The neutral fermion sectors of E_6-inspired low energy models, in particular the Alternative Left-Right and Inert models, are considered in detail within the non-supersymmetric scenario. We show that in their simplest form, these models always predict, for each generation, the lightest neutrino to be an SU(2)_L singlet, as well as two extra neutrinos with masses of the order of the up-quark mass. In order to recover Standard Model phenomenology, additional assumptions in the form of discrete symmetries and/or new interactions are needed. Read More

We study the bounds states of the Kaluza-Klein (KK) excitations of quarks in models of Universal Extra Dimensions. Such bound states may be detected at future lepton colliders in the cross section for the pair-production of KK-quarks near threshold. For typical values of model parameters, we find the ``KK-quarkonia'' have widths in the 10-100 MeV range, and production cross sections of order a few picobarns for the lightest resonances. Read More

Affiliations: 1UNAL, Colombia, 2William and Mary

An interesting extension of the Standard Model is based on the electroweak gauge group SU(3)_L x U(1). It requires three generations to cancel anomalies, treats the third generation differently than the first two, and has a rich phenomenology. There are several models, distinguished by the embedding of the charge operator into the SU(3)_L group and by the choice of fermion representations. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary, 3William and Mary

Colladay and Kostelecky have proposed a framework for studying Lorentz and CPT violation in a natural extension of the Standard Model. Although numerous bounds exist on the Lorentz and CPT violating parameters in the gauge boson and fermion sectors, there are no published bounds on the parameters in the Higgs sector. We determine these bounds. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary, 3William and Mary, 4William and Mary

We study the bound states of the Kaluza-Klein (KK) excitations of quarks in certain models of Universal Extra Dimensions. Such bound states may be detected at future lepton colliders in the cross section for the pair production of KK-quarks near threshold. For typical values of model parameters, we find that "KK-quarkonia" have widths in the 10 - 100 MeV range, and production cross sections of order a few picobarns for the lightest resonances. Read More

Affiliations: 1Coll. of William and Mary, 2Coll. of William and Mary

The experimental discovery of large nu_mu-nu_tau mixing indicates that analogous mixing in the charged lepton sector could be substantial. We consider the possibility that if a high intensity muon beam, perhaps at the early stages of a muon or neutrino factory, strikes a nuclear target, then conversion of some of the muons into tau leptons could occur (similar to the conversion of muons to electrons at MECO). Using current experimental limits on rare tau decays to bound the size of the relevant operators, we find that a 50 GeV muon beam, with 10^20 muons on target per year, could yield as many as 10^7 mu + N --> tau + N events per year. Read More

Motivated by the strong experimental evidence of large nu_mu - nu_tau neutrino oscillations, we study existing constraints for related mu - tau flavor violation. Using a general bottom-up approach, we construct dimension-6 effective fermionic operators whose coefficients encode the scale of new physics associated with mu - tau flavor violation, which is a piece in the puzzle of the origin of neutrino oscillations. We survey existing experimental bounds on this scale, which arise mostly from tau and B decays. Read More

Affiliations: 1William and Mary, 2William and Mary, 3William and Mary

Very light pseudoscalars can arise from the symmetry-breaking sector in many extensions of the Standard Model. If their mass is below 200 MeV, they can be long-lived and have interesting phenomenology. We discuss the experimental constraints on several models with light pseudoscalars, including one in which the pseudoscalar is naturally fermiophobic. Read More


The existence of large \nu_\mu-\nu_\tau mixing suggests the likelihood of large smuon-stau mixing in supersymmetric models, leading to \mu and \tau number violation. In addition to interesting signatures in slepton and neutralino production and decay, this will lead to rare \tau decays, such as \tau --> mu \gamma. Recently, it has been pointed out that the \tau --> 3\mu branching ratio could be substantial in the large \tan\beta region of parameter space, due to an induced \mu-\tau-Higgs vertex. Read More

Motivated by the recent strong experimental evidence of large \nu_mu-\nu_tau neutrino mixing, we explore current bounds on the analogous mixing in the charged lepton sector. We present a general formalism for dimension-6 fermionic effective operators involving tau-mu mixing with typical Lorentz structure (\bar{mu} \Gamma tau)(\bar{q}^a \Gamma {q}^b), and discuss their relationship to the standard model gauge symmetry and the underlying flavor dynamics. We derive the low-energy constraints on the new physics scale associated with each operator, mostly from current experimental bounds on rare decay processes of tau, hadrons or heavy quarks. Read More

In many models of CP violation, the electric dipole moment (EDM) of a heavy charged or neutral lepton could be very large. We present an explicit model in which a heavy neutrino EDM can be as large as $10^{-16}$ e-cm, or even a factor of ten larger if fine-tuning is allowed, and use an effective field theory argument to show that this result is fairly robust. We then look at the production cross section for these neutrinos, and by rederiving the Bethe-Block formula, show that they could leave an ionization track. Read More

Affiliations: 1U. of Wisconsin, 2U. of Wisconsin, 3William and Mary

We study the rare top-quark decay t->ch, where h is a generic Higgs boson, at a linear collider. If kinematically accessible, all models contain this decay at some level due to quark flavor mixing. Some models, such as Model III of the two-Higgs doublet model, have a tree-level top-charm-Higgs coupling, and the branching ratio is close to 0. Read More