Nathaniel Craig

Nathaniel Craig
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Nathaniel Craig

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (49)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (17)
High Energy Physics - Theory (12)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (3)

Publications Authored By Nathaniel Craig

I present a case for proposed future linear and circular lepton colliders as ideal machines for understanding and exploration. As machines for understanding, they provide unprecedented tools for studying the Higgs and observing phenomena never before seen in nature. As machines for exploration, they are ideally suited to discovering new particles interacting too weakly to be seen otherwise. Read More

We investigate the cosmology of the minimal model of neutral naturalness, the mirror Twin Higgs. The softly-broken mirror symmetry relating the Standard Model to its twin counterpart leads to significant dark radiation in tension with BBN and CMB observations. We quantify this tension and illustrate how it can be mitigated in several simple scenarios that alter the relative energy densities of the two sectors while respecting the softly-broken mirror symmetry. Read More

We explore a simple solution to the cosmological challenges of the original Mirror Twin Higgs (MTH) model that leads to interesting implications for experiment. We consider theories in which both the standard model and mirror neutrinos acquire masses through the familiar seesaw mechanism, but with a low right-handed neutrino mass scale of order a few GeV. In these $\nu$MTH models, the right-handed neutrinos leave the thermal bath while still relativistic. Read More

We propose a strategy for searching for theoretically-unanticipated new physics which avoids a large trials factor by focusing on experimental strengths. Searches for resonances decaying into pairs of visible particles are experimentally very powerful due to the localized mass peaks and have a rich history of discovery. Yet, due to a focus on subsets of theoretically-motivated models, the landscape of such resonances is far from thoroughly explored. Read More

We investigate the effects of resonance-continuum interference on the diphoton spectrum in the presence of a new spin-0 or spin-2 state produced via gluons or quarks and decaying to pairs of photons. Interference effects can significantly influence the extraction of resonance masses and widths from the diphoton spectrum, particularly in the case of a spin-2 resonance produced via quarks. We illustrate these effects via a binned likelihood analysis of LHC diphoton data at both 8 and 13 TeV. Read More

We present strategies to search for heavy neutral Higgs bosons decaying to top quark pairs, as often occurs at low $\tan \beta$ in type II two Higgs doublet models such as the Higgs sector of the MSSM. The resonant production channel is unsatisfactory due to interference with the SM background. We instead propose to utilize same-sign dilepton signatures arising from the production of heavy Higgs bosons in association with one or two top quarks and subsequent decay to a top pair. Read More

We present a version of the twin Higgs mechanism with vector-like top partners. In this setup all gauge anomalies automatically cancel, even without twin leptons. The matter content of the most minimal twin sector is therefore just two twin tops and one twin bottom. Read More

The experimental and theoretical implications of heavy digauge boson resonances that couple to, or are comprised of, new charged and strongly interacting matter are investigated. Observation and measurement of ratios of the resonant digauge boson channels $WW$, $ZZ$, $\gamma \gamma$, $Z \gamma$, and $gg$ in the form of dijets, provide a rather direct -- and for some ratios a rather robust -- probe of the gauge representations of the new matter. For a spin-zero resonance with the quantum numbers of the vacuum, the ratios of resonant $WW$ and $ZZ$ to $\gamma \gamma$ channels, as well as the longitudinal versus transverse polarization fractions in the $WW$ and $ZZ$ channels, provide probes for possible mixing with the Higgs boson, while di-Higgs and ditop resonant channels, $hh$ and $tt$, provide somewhat less sensitivity. Read More

I discuss some essential features of the electroweak hierarchy problem and the ensuing motivation for weak-scale supersymmetry. Taking the hierarchy problem seriously, null results in searches for SUSY at the LHC favor specific regions of SUSY parameter space. More broadly, they suggest investigating a variety of alternative approaches to the hierarchy problem with diverse experimental signatures. Read More

We study angular observables in the $e^+e^-\to Z H\to \ell^+ \ell^-\,b\bar{b}$ channel at future circular $e^+ e^-$ colliders such as CEPC and FCC-ee. Taking into account the impact of realistic cut acceptance and detector effects, we forecast the precision of six angular asymmetries at CEPC (FCC-ee) with center-of-mass energy $\sqrt{s} =$ 240 GeV and 5 (30) ${\rm ab}^{-1}$ integrated luminosity. We then determine the projected sensitivity to a range of operators relevant for the Higgs-strahlung process in the dimension-6 Higgs EFT. Read More

We propose a simple model of split supersymmetry from gauge mediation. This model features gauginos that are parametrically a loop factor lighter than scalars, accommodates a Higgs boson mass of 125 GeV, and incorporates a simple solution to the $\mu-b_\mu$ problem. The gaugino mass suppression can be understood as resulting from collective symmetry breaking. Read More

Folded supersymmetry (f-SUSY) stabilizes the weak scale against radiative corrections from the top sector via scalar partners whose gauge quantum numbers differ from their Standard Model counterparts. This non-trivial pairing of states can be realized in extra-dimensional theories with appropriate supersymmetry-breaking boundary conditions. We present a class of calculable f-SUSY models that are parametrized by a non-trivial twist in 5D boundary conditions and can accommodate the observed Higgs mass and couplings. Read More

We identify and analyze thermal dark matter candidates in the fraternal twin Higgs model and its generalizations. The relic abundance of fraternal twin dark matter is set by twin weak interactions, with a scale tightly tied to the weak scale of the Standard Model by naturalness considerations. As such, the dark matter candidates benefit from a "fraternal WIMP miracle," reproducing the observed dark matter abundance for dark matter masses between 50 and 150 GeV. Read More


This paper describes the physics case for a new fixed target facility at CERN SPS. The SHiP (Search for Hidden Particles) experiment is intended to hunt for new physics in the largely unexplored domain of very weakly interacting particles with masses below the Fermi scale, inaccessible to the LHC experiments, and to study tau neutrino physics. The same proton beam setup can be used later to look for decays of tau-leptons with lepton flavour number non-conservation, $\tau\to 3\mu$ and to search for weakly-interacting sub-GeV dark matter candidates. Read More

We assess the current state of searches at the LHC for additional Higgs bosons in light of both direct limits and indirect bounds coming from coupling measurements of the Standard Model-like Higgs boson. Given current constraints, we identify and study three LHC searches that are critical components of a comprehensive program to investigate extended electroweak symmetry breaking sectors: production of a heavy scalar or pseudoscalar with decay to $t \bar t$; $b \bar b$ and $t \bar t$ associated production of a heavy scalar or pseudoscalar with decay to invisible final states; and $t \bar b$ associated production of a charged Higgs with decay to $\bar t b$. Systematic experimental searches in these channels would contribute to robust coverage of the possible single production modes of additional heavy Higgs bosons. Read More

We revisit the Twin Higgs scenario as a "dark" solution to the little hierarchy problem, identify the structure of a minimal model and its viable parameter space, and analyze its collider implications. In this model, dark naturalness generally leads to Hidden Valley phenomenology. The twin particles, including the top partner, are all Standard-Model-neutral, but naturalness favors the existence of twin strong interactions -- an asymptotically-free force that confines not far above the Standard Model QCD scale -- and a Higgs portal interaction. Read More

The discovery of the Higgs boson opens the door to new physics interacting via the Higgs Portal, including motivated scenarios relating to baryogenesis, dark matter, and electroweak naturalness. We systematically explore the collider signatures of singlet scalars produced via the Higgs Portal at the 14 TeV LHC and a prospective 100 TeV hadron collider. We focus on the challenging regime where the scalars are too heavy to be produced in the decays of an on-shell Higgs boson, and instead are produced primarily via an off-shell Higgs. Read More

We introduce and systematically study an expansive class of "orbifold Higgs" theories in which the weak scale is protected by accidental symmetries arising from the orbifold reduction of continuous symmetries. The protection mechanism eliminates quadratic sensitivity of the Higgs mass to higher scales at one loop (or more) and does not involve any new states charged under the Standard Model. The structures of the Higgs and top sectors are universal and determined exclusively by group theoretical considerations. Read More

A "Higgs factory", an electron-positron collider with center-of-mass energy of about 250 GeV, will measure the cross section of the Higgsstrahlung process, $e^+e^-\rightarrow hZ$, with sub-percent precision. This measurement is sensitive to a variety of new physics scenarios. In this paper, we study two examples. Read More

We present a general class of natural theories in which the Higgs is a pseudo-goldstone boson in an orbifolded gauge theory. The symmetry protecting the Higgs at low energies is an accidental global symmetry of the quadratic action, rather than a full continuous symmetry. The lightest degrees of freedom protecting the weak scale carry no Standard Model (SM) quantum numbers and interact with visible matter principally through the Higgs portal. Read More

Using the techniques of dimensional deconstruction, we present 4D models that fully reproduce the physics of 5D supersymmetric theories compactified on an S^1/Z_2 orbifold with general Scherk-Schwarz supersymmetry breaking (SSSB) boundary conditions. In contrast to previous approaches, our deconstruction involves only soft supersymmetry breaking. Deconstruction preserves many of the attractive features of SSSB without the cumbersome architecture of a full fifth dimension, ambiguity of the ultraviolet completion, or challenges associated with stabilizing a large radius of compactification. Read More

Split supersymmetry (SUSY) -- in which SUSY is relevant to our universe but largely inaccessible at current accelerators -- has become increasingly plausible given the absence of new physics at the LHC, the success of gauge coupling unification, and the observed Higgs mass. Indirect probes of split SUSY such as electric dipole moments (EDMs) and flavor violation offer hope for further evidence but are ultimately limited in their reach. Inflation offers an alternate window into SUSY through the direct production of superpartners during inflation. Read More

We show that naturalness of the weak scale can be comfortably reconciled with both LHC null results and observed Higgs properties provided the double protection of supersymmetry and the twin Higgs mechanism. This double protection radically alters conventional signs of naturalness at the LHC while respecting gauge coupling unification and precision electroweak limits. We find the measured Higgs mass, couplings, and percent-level naturalness of the weak scale are compatible with stops at ~3. Read More

In these lectures I survey the state of supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model in light of data from the first run of the LHC. After assessing pre-LHC expectations based on principles of naturalness and parsimony, I review the landscape of direct and indirect search limits at the LHC, including the implications of the observed Higgs mass and couplings. Finally, I survey several broad classes of supersymmetric models that are consistent with current data and enumerate the most promising search strategies and model-building directions for the future. Read More

We investigate the prospects for discovery or exclusion of additional Higgs scalars at the 14 TeV and 33 TeV LHC in the context of theories with two Higgs doublets. We focus on the modes with the largest production rates at hadron colliders, namely gluon fusion production of a heavy CP-even scalar H or a heavy CP-odd pseudoscalar A. We consider the sensitivity of the decay channels H to ZZ to 4l, and A to Zh with Z to ll and h to bb or h to tautau. Read More

We evaluate the potential to measure ttbar H associated production at the LHC using non-resonant multi-lepton final states in conjunction with two or more b-tags. The multi-lepton ttbar H signal arises predominantly from H to tau tau and H to WW^* alongside the semi-leptonic or fully leptonic decay of the ttbar pair. We demonstrate the power of a multi-lepton search for ttbar H associated production by recasting the CMS b-tagged multi-lepton search with 19. Read More

Any new scalar fields that perturbatively solve the hierarchy problem by stabilizing the Higgs mass also generate new contributions to the Higgs field-strength renormalization, irrespective of their gauge representation. These new contributions are physical and their magnitude can be inferred from the requirement of quadratic divergence cancellation, hence they are directly related to the resolution of the hierarchy problem. Upon canonically normalizing the Higgs field these new contributions lead to modifications of Higgs couplings which are typically great enough that the hierarchy problem and the concept of electroweak naturalness can be probed thoroughly within a precision Higgs program. Read More

The search for evidence of extended electroweak symmetry breaking has entered a new phase with the discovery of a Standard Model (SM)-like Higgs at the LHC. The measurement of Higgs couplings and direct searches for additional scalars provide complementary avenues for the discovery of new degrees of freedom. This complementarity is particularly sharp in two Higgs doublet models (2HDMs) where the couplings of the SM-like Higgs may be directly related to the LHC signals of additional scalars. Read More

We present a general formalism for analyzing supersymmetric models where the Higgs sector directly couples to the messengers of supersymmetry breaking. Such Higgs-messenger interactions are strongly motivated by the discovery of a Higgs boson near 125 GeV, but they also raise the specter of the mu/B_mu and A/m_H^2 problems. Using our formalism, we identify new avenues to solving these problems through strong dynamics in the messenger sector or hidden sector. Read More

Although supersymmetry remains the best candidate for solving the electroweak hierarchy problem, a supersymmetric Higgs boson near 125 GeV requires heavy scalars, highly-mixed stops, or non-minimal contributions to the Higgs potential. Extensions of the Standard Model (SM) gauge group provide an attractive means of raising the Higgs mass through non-decoupling D-term contributions to the Higgs quartic, but in most cases this correction is correlated with an enhanced coupling to bottom quarks and tau leptons that is disfavored by current fits to LHC Higgs data. In this work we demonstrate that the Higgs mass may be raised by non-decoupling D-terms without such enhanced couplings if the two supersymmetric Higgs doublets are "chiral", i. Read More

The lack of evidence for new physics beyond the standard model at the LHC points to a paucity of new particles near the weak scale. This suggests that the weak scale is tuned and that supersymmetry, if present at all, is realized at higher energies. The measured Higgs mass constrains the scalar sparticles to be below 10^5 TeV, while gauge coupling unification favors Higgsinos below 100 TeV. Read More

We identify and investigate novel multi-lepton signatures of extended Higgs sectors at the LHC in the guise of CP- and flavor-conserving two-Higgs-doublet models (2HDMs). Rather than designing individual searches tailored to specific 2HDM signals, we employ the combination of many exclusive multi-lepton search channels to probe the collective signal from the totality of production and decay processes. Multi-lepton signals of 2HDMs can arise from a variety of sources, including Standard Model-like production of the CP-even scalars, $h$ and $H$, through gluon-fusion with $h,H \to ZZ^{(*)}$, or associated production with vector bosons or top quarks, with $h,H \to WW^{(*)}, ZZ^{(*)},\tau\tau$. Read More

The results of a multi-lepton search conducted by the CMS collaboration with 5 fb$^{-1}$ of data collected from 7 TeV $pp$ collisions are used to place the first bound on the rare flavor-changing decay of the top quark to a Higgs boson and charm quark. Combining results from a number of exclusive three- and four-lepton search channels yields an estimated upper limit of ${\rm Br}(t \to ch) < 2.7%$ for a Higgs boson mass of 125 GeV. Read More

Expectations for the magnitude of Higgs boson signals in standard Higgs search channels at the LHC relative to Standard Model (SM) expectations are investigated within the framework of various types of CP and flavor conserving two Higgs doublet models (2HDMs). Signals of the SM-like Higgs boson in different classes of 2HDM may be parameterized in terms of particular two-dimensional sub-spaces of the general four-dimensional space of Higgs couplings to the massive vector bosons, top quark, bottom quark, and tau lepton. We find fairly strong correlations among the inclusive di-photon channel and the exclusive di-photon and di-tau channels from vector boson fusion or associated production. Read More

Recent signs of a Standard Model-like Higgs at 125 GeV point towards large A-terms in the MSSM. This presents special challenges for gauge mediation, which by itself predicts vanishing A-terms at the messenger scale. In this paper, we review the general problems that arise when extending gauge mediation to achieve large A-terms, and the mechanisms that exist to overcome them. Read More

We discuss the role that Higgs coupling measurements can play in differentiating supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model. Fitting current LHC data to the Higgs couplings, we find that the likelihood fit shows a preference in the direction of suppressed (enhanced) bottom (top) quark couplings. In the minimal supersymmetric Standard Model, we demonstrate that for tan beta > 1, there is tension in achieving such fermion couplings due to the structure of the Higgs quartic couplings. Read More

Additional neutral gauge fermions -- "photini" -- arise in string compactifications as superpartners of U(1) gauge fields. Unlike their vector counterparts, the photini can acquire weak-scale masses from soft SUSY breaking and lead to observable signatures at the LHC through mass mixing with the bino. In this work we investigate the collider consequences of adding photini to the neutralino sector of the MSSM. Read More

If supersymmetry (SUSY) solves the hierarchy problem, then naturalness considerations coupled with recent LHC bounds require non-trivial superpartner flavor structures. Such "Natural SUSY" models exhibit a large mass hierarchy between scalars of the third and first two generations as well as degeneracy (or alignment) among the first two generations. In this work, we show how this specific beyond the standard model (SM) flavor structure can be tied directly to SM flavor via "Flavor Mediation". Read More

We present a simple supersymmetric model of split families consistent with flavor limits that preserves the successful prediction of gauge coupling unification and naturally accounts for the Higgs mass. The model provides an intricate connection between the Standard Model flavor hierarchy, supersymmetric flavor problem, unification and the Higgs mass. In particular unification favors a naturally large Higgs mass from D-term corrections to the quartic couplings in the Higgs potential. Read More

Recent LHC bounds on squark masses combined with naturalness and flavor considerations motivate non-trivial sfermion mass spectra in the supersymmetric Standard Model. These can arise if supersymmetry breaking is communicated to the visible sector via new extended gauge symmetries. Such extended symmetries must be spontaneously broken, or confined, complicating the calculation of soft masses. Read More

The possibility of searching for the Higgs boson in channels with multiple non-resonant leptons is evaluated in light of recent advances in multi-lepton search techniques at the LHC. The total multi-lepton Higgs signal exceeds the four lepton gold-plated resonant mode, but is spread over many channels with same-sign di-lepton, tri-lepton, and four lepton final states. While any individual channel alone is not significant, the exclusive combination across multiple channels is shown to provide a sensitivity competitive with other discovery level searches for the Higgs boson. Read More

We analyze the phases of supersymmetric chiral gauge theories with an antisymmetric tensor and (anti)fundamental flavors, in the presence of a classically marginal superpotential deformation. Varying the number of flavors that appear in the superpotential reveals rich infrared chiral dynamics and novel dualities. The dualities are characterized by an infinite family of magnetic duals with arbitrarily large gauge groups describing the same fixed point, correlated with arbitrarily large classical global symmetries that are truncated nonperturbatively. Read More

We analyze the phase structure of supersymmetric chiral gauge theories with gauge group SU(N), an antisymmetric, and FRead More

We introduce a novel composite Higgs theory based on confining supersymmetric QCD. Supersymmetric duality plays a key role in this construction, with a "fat" Higgs boson emerging as a dual magnetic degree of freedom charged under the dual magnetic gauge group. Due to spontaneous color-flavor locking in the infrared, the electroweak gauge symmetry is aligned with the dual magnetic gauge group, allowing large Yukawa couplings between elementary matter fields and the composite Higgs. Read More

We initiate a systematic study of amplitudes with massive external particles on the Coulomb-branch of N=4 super Yang Mills theory: 1) We propose that (multi-)soft-scalar limits of massless amplitudes at the origin of moduli space can be used to determine Coulomb-branch amplitudes to leading order in the mass. This is demonstrated in numerous examples. 2) We find compact explicit expressions for several towers of tree-level amplitudes, including scattering of two massive W-bosons with any number of positive helicity gluons, valid for all values of the mass. Read More

Using the framework of deconstruction, we construct simple, weakly-coupled supersymmetric models that explain the Standard Model flavor hierarchy and produce a flavorful soft spectrum compatible with precision limits. Electroweak symmetry breaking is fully natural; the mu-term is dynamically generated with no B mu-problem and the Higgs mass is easily raised above LEP limits without reliance on large radiative corrections. These models possess the distinctive spectrum of superpartners characteristic of "effective supersymmetry": the third generation superpartners tend to be light, while the rest of the scalars are heavy. Read More

The forward-backward asymmetry $A_{FB}^{t\bar t}$ in top quark production at the Tevatron has been observed to be anomalously large by both CDF and D0. It has been suggested that a model with a $W'$ coupling to $td$ and $ub$ might explain this anomaly, and other anomalies in $B$ mesons. Single-top-quark production in this model is large, and arguably in conflict with Tevatron measurements. Read More

Calculable single-sector models provide an elegant framework for generating the flavor textures via compositeness, breaking supersymmetry, and explaining the electroweak scale. Such models may be realized naturally in supersymmetric QCD with additional gauge singlets (SSQCD), though it remains challenging to construct models without a surfeit of light exotic states where the Standard Model index emerges naturally. We classify possible single-sector models based on Sp confining SSQCD according to their Standard Model index and number of composite messengers. Read More

We study the 'goldstini' scenario of Cheung, Nomura, and Thaler, in which multiple independent supersymmetry (SUSY) breaking sectors lead to multiple would-be goldstinos, changing collider and cosmological phenomenology. In supergravity, potentially large corrections to the previous prediction of twice the gravitino mass for goldstini masses can arise when their scalar partners are stabilized far from the origin. Considerations arising from the complexity of realistic string compactifications indicate that many of the independent SUSY-breaking sectors should be conformally sequestered or situated in warped Randall-Sundrum-like throats, further changing the predicted goldstini masses. Read More

We consider a hidden-valley gauge sector, G, with strong coupling scale Lambda~TeV and CP-violating topological parameter, theta, as well as a new axion degree of freedom which adjusts theta to near zero in the current universe. If the G-sector couples to the Standard Model via weak-scale states charged under both, then in the early universe it is possible for the CP-violation due to theta (which has not yet been adjusted to zero by the hidden axion) to feed in to the SM and drive efficient baryogenesis during the electroweak (EW) phase transition, independent of the effectively small amount of CP violation present in the SM itself. While current constraints on both the new axion and charged states are easily satisfied, we argue that the LHC can investigate the vast majority of parameter space where EW-baryogenesis is efficiently assisted, while the hidden axion should comprise a significant fraction of the dark matter density. Read More