V. Barger

V. Barger
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V. Barger

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (49)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (15)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (12)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (5)
High Energy Physics - Theory (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
Computer Science - Computation and Language (1)

Publications Authored By V. Barger

Weak scale supersymmetry (SUSY) remains a compelling extension of the Standard Model because it stabilizes the quantum corrections to the Higgs and W, Z boson masses. In natural SUSY models these corrections are, by definition, never much larger than the corresponding masses. Natural SUSY models all have an upper limit on the gluino mass, too high to lead to observable signals even at the high luminosity LHC. Read More

Radiatively-driven natural SUSY (RNS) models enjoy electroweak naturalness at the $10\%$ level while respecting LHC sparticle and Higgs mass constraints. Gluino and top squark masses can range up to several TeV (with other squarks even heavier) but a set of light Higgsinos are required with mass not too far above $m_h\sim 125$ GeV. Within the RNS framework, gluinos dominantly decay via ${\tilde g} \to t{\tilde t}_1^{*},\ \bar{t}{\tilde t}_1 \to t\bar{t}{\widetilde Z}_{1,2}$ or $t\bar{b}{\widetilde W}_1^-+c. Read More

As a cold dark matter candidate, the QCD axion may form Bose-Einstein condensates, called axion stars, with masses around $10^{-11}\,M_{\odot}$. In this paper, we point out that a brand new astrophysical object, a Hydrogen Axion Star (HAS), may well be formed by ordinary baryonic matter becoming gravitationally bound to an axion star. We study the properties of the HAS and find that the hydrogen cloud has a high pressure and temperature in the center and is likely in the liquid metallic hydrogen state. Read More

In supersymmetric models with radiatively-driven naturalness and light higgsinos, the top squarks may lie in the 0.5- 3TeV range and thus only a fraction of natural parameter space is accessible to LHC searches. We outline the range of top squark and lightest SUSY particle masses preferred by electroweak naturalness in the standard parameter space plane. Read More

Deep inelastic scattering of very high-energy neutrinos can potentially be enhanced by the production of a single top quark or charm quark via the interaction of a virtual $W$-boson exchange with a $b$-quark or $s$-quark parton in the nucleon. The single top contribution shows a sharp rise at neutrino energies above 0.5 PeV and gives a cross-section contribution of order 5 percent at 10 PeV, while single charm has a low energy threshold and contributes about 25 percent. Read More

In the supersymmetric scenario known as mirage mediation (MM), the soft SUSY breaking terms receive comparable anomaly-mediation and moduli-mediation contributions leading to the phenomenon of mirage unification. The simplest MM SUSY breaking models which are consistent with the measured Higgs mass and sparticle mass constraints are strongly disfavoured by fine-tuning considerations. However, while MM makes robust predictions for gaugino masses, the scalar sector is quite sensitive to specific mechanisms for moduli stabilization and potential uplifting. Read More

We examine updated prospects for detecting WIMPs in supersymmetric models via direct and indirect dark matter search experiments. We examine several historical and also still viable scenarios: projections for well-tempered neutralinos (WTN), projections from the MasterCode (MC), BayesFits (BF) and Fittino (FO) collaborations, non-thermal wino dark matter (NThW) and finally mixed axion-higgsino dark matter from SUSY with radiatively-driven naturalness (RNS). The WTN is ruled out by recent limits from XENON and LUX collaborations. Read More

Both face-to-face communication and communication in online environments convey information beyond the actual verbal message. In a traditional face-to-face conversation, paralanguage, or the ancillary meaning- and emotion-laden aspects of speech that are not actual verbal prose, gives contextual information that allows interactors to more appropriately understand the message being conveyed. In this paper, we conceptualize textual paralanguage (TPL), which we define as written manifestations of nonverbal audible, tactile, and visual elements that supplement or replace written language and that can be expressed through words, symbols, images, punctuation, demarcations, or any combination of these elements. Read More

Color octet bosons are a universal prediction of models in which the 750 GeV diphoton resonance corresponds to a pion of a QCD-like composite sector. We show that the existing searches for dijet and photon plus jet resonances at the LHC constrain single productions of color octet states and can be translated into stringent limits on the 750 GeV diphoton rate. For a minimal 5 + 5bar model, the 750 GeV diphoton signal cross section at the 13 TeV LHC is constrained to be below around 5 fb. Read More

Recent clarifications of naturalness in supersymmetry robustly require the presence of four light higgsinos with mass ~100-300 GeV while gluinos and (top)-squarks may lie in the multi-TeV range, possibly out of LHC reach. We project the high luminosity (300-3000 fb^{-1}) reach of LHC14 via gluino cascade decays and via same-sign diboson production. We compare these to the reach for neutralino pair production \tz_1\tz_2 followed by \tz_2\to\tz_1\ell^+\ell^- decay to soft dileptons which recoil against a hard jet. Read More

In supersymmetric models where the superpotential mu term is generated with mu<< m_{soft} (e.g. from radiative Peccei-Quinn symmetry breaking or compactified string models with sequestration and stabilized moduli), and where the string landscape 1. Read More

Supergravity grand unified models (SUGRA GUTs) are highly motivated and allow for a high degree of electroweak naturalness when the superpotential parameter mu~ 100-300 GeV (preferring values closer to 100 GeV). We first illustrate that models with radiatively-driven naturalness enjoy a generalized focus-point behavior wherein all soft terms are correlated instead of just scalar masses. Next, we generate spectra from four SUGRA GUT archetypes: 1. Read More

We investigate the question of electroweak naturalness within the deflected mirage mediation (DMM) framework for supersymmetry breaking in the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM). The class of DMM models considered are nine-parameter theories that fall within the general classification of the 19-parameter phenomenological MSSM (pMSSM). Our results show that these DMM models have regions of parameter space with very low electroweak fine-tuning, at levels comparable to the pMSSM. Read More

While it is often stated that the notion of electroweak (EW) naturalness in supersymmetric models is subjective, fuzzy and model-dependent, here we argue the contrary: electroweak naturalness can be elevated to a {\it principle} which is both objective and predictive. We demonstrate visually when too much fine-tuning sets in at the electroweak scale which corresponds numerically to the measure \Delta_{BG}~\Delta_{EW}> 30. While many constrained SUSY models are already excluded by this value, we derive updated upper bounds on sparticle masses within the two-extra parameter non-universal Higgs model (NUHM2). Read More

The search for supersymmetry at Run 1 of LHC has resulted in gluino mass limits m(gluino)>~ 1.3 TeV for the case where m(gluino)<Read More

Cosmological parameters deduced from the Planck measurements of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background are at some tension with direct astronomical measurements of various parameters at low redshifts. Very recently, it has been conjectured that this discrepancy can be reconciled if a certain fraction of dark matter is unstable and decays between recombination and the present epoch. Herein we show that if the superheavy relics have a branching into neutrinos B (X \to \nu \bar \nu) \sim 3 \times 10^{-9}, then this scenario can also accommodate the recently discovered extraterrestrial flux of neutrinos, relaxing the tension between IceCube results and Fermi LAT data. Read More

We study the vacuum stability of a minimal Higgs portal model in which the standard model (SM) particle spectrum is extended to include one complex scalar field and one Dirac fermion. These new fields are singlets under the SM gauge group and are charged under a global U(1) symmetry. Breaking of this U(1) symmetry results in a massless Goldstone boson, a massive CP-even scalar, and splits the Dirac fermion into two new mass-eigenstates, corresponding to Majorana fermions. Read More

We study the contribution of Galactic sources to the flux of astrophysical neutrinos recently observed by the IceCube Collaboration. We show that in the simplest model of homogeneous and isotropic cosmic ray diffusion in the Milky Way the Galactic diffuse neutrino emission consistent with $\gamma$-ray (Fermi-LAT) and cosmic ray data (KASCADE, KASCADE-Grande and CREAM) is expected to account for only $4\%-8\%$ of the IceCube flux above 60 TeV. Direct neutrino emission from cosmic ray-gas ($pp$) interactions in the sources would require an unusually large average opacity above 0. Read More

By insisting on naturalness in both the electroweak and QCD sectors of the MSSM, the portrait for dark matter production is seriously modified from the usual WIMP miracle picture. In SUSY models with radiatively-driven naturalness (radiative natural SUSY or RNS) which include a DFSZ-like solution to the strong CP and SUSY mu problems, dark matter is expected to be an admixture of both axions and higgsino-like WIMPs. The WIMP/axion abundance calculation requires simultaneous solution of a set of coupled Boltzmann equations which describe quasi-stable axinos and saxions. Read More

More than 30 years ago, Arnowitt-Chamseddine-Nath (ACN) and others established the compelling framework of supergravity gauge theories (SUGRA) as a picture for the next step in beyond the Standard Model physics. We review the current SUGRA scenario in light of recent data from LHC8 collider searches and the Higgs boson discovery. While many SUSY and non-SUSY scenarios are highly disfavored or even excluded by LHC, the essential SUGRA scenario remains intact and as compelling as ever. Read More

In natural SUSY models higgsinos are always light because \mu^2 cannot be much larger than M_Z^2, while squarks and gluinos may be very heavy. Unless gluinos are discovered at LHC13, the commonly assumed unification of gaugino mass parameters will imply correspondingly heavy winos and binos, resulting in a higgsino-like LSP and small inter-higgsino mass splittings. The small visible energy release in higgsino decays makes their pair production difficult to detect at the LHC. Read More

After the extraordinary discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, the next goal is to pin down its underlying dynamics by measuring the Higgs self-couplings, along with its couplings to gauge and matter particles. As a prototype model of new physics in the scalar sector, we consider the Two Higgs Doublet Model (2HDM) with CP-conservation, and evaluate the prospects for measuring the trilinear scalar couplings among the CP-even Higgs bosons $h$ and $H$ ($\lambda^{hhh}$, $\lambda^{hhH}$, $\lambda^{hHH}$) at LHC14. The continuum and resonant production of CP-even Higgs boson pairs, $hh$ and $hH$, offer complementary probes of the scalar potential away from the light-Higgs decoupling limit. Read More

We advocate a search for an extended scalar sector at the LHC via $hh$ production, where $h$ is the 125 GeV Higgs boson. A resonance feature in the $hh$ invariant mass is a smoking gun of an $s$-channel heavy Higgs resonance, $H$. With one $h$ decaying to two photons and the other decaying to $b$-quarks, the resonant signal may be discoverable above the $hh$ continuum background for $M_H<$ 1 TeV. Read More

Recently, it has been argued that various measures of SUSY naturalness-- electroweak, Higgs mass and EENZ/BG-- when applied consistently concur with one another and make very specific predictions for natural supersymmetric spectra. Highly natural spectra are characterized by light higgsinos with mass not too far from m_h and well-mixed but TeV-scale third generation squarks. We apply the unified naturalness measure to the case of heavy Higgs bosons A, H and H^\pm. Read More

The Glashow resonance at E_\nu=6.3 PeV is a measure of the \bar\nu_e content of the astrophysical neutrino flux. The fractional \bar\nu_e content depends on the neutrino production model at the cosmic neutrino source, and the environment at the source. Read More

We investigate whether a subset of high-energy events observed by IceCube may be due to neutrinos from Sagittarius A*. We check both spatial and temporal coincidences of IceCube events with other transient activities of Sagittarius A*. Among the seven IceCube shower events nearest to the galactic center, we have found that event 25 has a time very close to (around three hours after) the brightest X-ray flare of Sagittarius A* observed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory with a p-value of 0. Read More

We perform a comprehensive study of the ability of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) to answer outstanding questions in the neutrino sector. We consider the sensitivities to the mass hierarchy, the octant of \theta_{23} and to CP violation using data from beam and atmospheric neutrinos. We evaluate the dependencies on the precision with which \theta_{13} will be measured by reactor experiments, on the detector size, beam power and exposure time, on detector magnetization, and on the systematic uncertainties achievable with and without a near detector. Read More

Naturalness arguments applied to supersymmetric theories imply a spectrum containing four light higgsinos \tz_{1,2} and \tw_1^+- with masses ~ 100-300 GeV (the closer to M_Z the more natural). The compressed mass spectrum and associated low energy release from \tw_1 and \tz_2 three-body decay makes higgsinos difficult to detect at LHC14, while the other sparticles might be heavy, and possibly even beyond LHC14 reach. In contrast, the International Linear e^+e^- Collider (ILC) with \sqrt{s}>2m(higgsino) would be a {\it higgsino factory} in addition to a Higgs boson factory and would serve as a discovery machine for natural SUSY! In this case, both chargino and neutralino production %which give rise to distinct event topologies, occur at comparable rates, and lead to observable signals above SM backgrounds. Read More

Recent null results from LHC8 SUSY searches along with the discovery of a SM-like Higgs boson with mass m(h) ~ 125.5 GeV indicates sparticle masses in the TeV range, causing tension with conventional measures of electroweak fine-tuning. We propose a simple Fine-tuning Rule which should be followed under any credible evaluation of fine-tuning. Read More

There may be a high-energy cutoff of neutrino events in IceCube data. In particular, IceCube does not observe either continuum events above 2 PeV, or the Standard Model Glashow-resonance events expected at 6.3 PeV. Read More

We show that S-dual inflationary potentials solve the unlikeliness problem manifested in Planck data and explain the excess B-mode power observed by the BICEP2 experiment as arising from primordial tensor fluctuations. Read More

The announcement by the IceCube Collaboration of the observation of 28 cosmic neutrino candidates has been greeted with a great deal of justified excitement. The data reported so far depart by 4.3\sigma from the expected atmospheric neutrino background, which raises the obvious question: "Where in the Cosmos are these neutrinos coming from?" We review the many possibilities which have been explored in the literature to address this question, including origins at either Galactic or extragalactic celestial objects. Read More

The SUSY flavor, CP, gravitino and proton-decay problems are all solved to varying degrees by a decoupling solution wherein first/second generation matter scalars would exist in the multi-TeV regime. Recent models of natural SUSY presumably allow for a co-existence of naturalness with the decoupling solution. We show that: if sfermions are heavier than $\sim 10$ TeV, then a small first/second generation contribution to electroweak fine-tuning (EWFT) requires a rather high degree of intra-generational degeneracy of either 1. Read More

We simulate the measurement of the triscalar Higgs coupling at LHC(8,14) via pair production of h(125 GeV). We find that the most promising hh final state is bb gamma gamma. We account for deviations of the triscalar coupling from its SM value and study the effects of this coupling on the hh cross-section and distributions with cut-based and multivariate methods. Read More

In this Report we discuss the four complementary searches for the identity of dark matter: direct detection experiments that look for dark matter interacting in the lab, indirect detection experiments that connect lab signals to dark matter in our own and other galaxies, collider experiments that elucidate the particle properties of dark matter, and astrophysical probes sensitive to non-gravitational interactions of dark matter. The complementarity among the different dark matter searches is discussed qualitatively and illustrated quantitatively in several theoretical scenarios. Our primary conclusion is that the diversity of possible dark matter candidates requires a balanced program based on all four of those approaches. Read More


This report summarizes the work of the Energy Frontier Higgs Boson working group of the 2013 Community Summer Study (Snowmass). We identify the key elements of a precision Higgs physics program and document the physics potential of future experimental facilities as elucidated during the Snowmass study. We study Higgs couplings to gauge boson and fermion pairs, double Higgs production for the Higgs self-coupling, its quantum numbers and $CP$-mixing in Higgs couplings, the Higgs mass and total width, and prospects for direct searches for additional Higgs bosons in extensions of the Standard Model. Read More

Radiatively-driven natural supersymmetry (RNS) potentially reconciles the Z and Higgs boson masses close to 100 GeV with gluinos and squarks lying beyond the TeV scale. Requiring no large cancellations at the electroweak scale in constructing M_Z=91.2 GeV while maintaining a light Higgs scalar with m_h 125 GeV implies a sparticle mass spectrum including light higgsinos with mass 100-300 GeV, electroweak gauginos in the 300-1200 GeV range, gluinos at 1-4 TeV and top/bottom squarks in the 1-4 TeV range (probably beyond LHC reach), while first/second generation matter scalars can exist in the 5-30 TeV range (far beyond LHC reach). Read More

The lack of evidence for superparticles at the CERN LHC, along with the rather high value of the Higgs mass, has sharpened the perception that supersymmetric model parameter space is highly electroweak fine-tuned (EWFT). We compare three measures of fine-tuning in SUSY models. 1. Read More

The discovery at the LHC of a scalar particle with properties that are so far consistent with the SM Higgs boson is one of the most important advances in the history of particle physics. The challenge of future collider experiments is to determine whether its couplings will show deviations from the SM Higgs, as this would indicate new physics at the TeV scale, and also to probe the flavor structure of the Yukawa couplings. As a benchmark alternative to the SM Higgs, we consider a generic two Higgs doublet model (2HDM) and analyze the precision to which the LHC14, an ILC250, 500, 1000 GeV and a 125 GeV Muon Collider (MC) can determine the gauge and Yukawa couplings. Read More

The historic LHC discovery of the 125 GeV particle with properties that closely resemble the Standard Model (SM) Higgs boson verifies our understanding of electroweak symmetry breaking, but solidifies the need for a resolution to the hierarchy problem. Many extensions of the SM that address the hierarchy problem contain a non-minimal Higgs sector. Therefore, as a benchmark alternative to the SM Higgs mechanism, we study a general 2 Higgs doublet model (2HDM-G) framework for evaluating future sensitivity to Higgs couplings. Read More

We study the neutrino oscillation physics performance of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) in various configurations. In particular, we compare the case of a surface detector at the far site augmented by a near detector, to that with the far site detector placed deep underground but no near detector. In the latter case, information from atmospheric neutrino events is also utilized. Read More

We examine the discovery reach of LHC14 for supersymmetry for integrated luminosity ranging from 0.3 to 3 ab^{-1}. In models with gaugino mass unification and M_1,\ M_2<< |\mu| (as for mSUGRA/CMSSM), we find a reach of LHC14 with 3 ab^{-1} for gluino pair production extends to m_{\tg} 2. Read More

Supersymmetric models with low electroweak fine-tuning contain light higgsinos with mass not too far from m_h\simeq 125 GeV, while other sparticles can be much heavier. In the R-parity conserving MSSM, the lightest neutralino is then a higgsino-like WIMP (albeit with non-negligible gaugino components), with thermal relic density well below measured values. This leaves room for axions (or other, perhaps not as well motivated, stable particles) to function as co-dark matter particles. Read More

Imposing electroweak scale naturalness constraints (low \Delta_{EW}) on SUSY models leads to mass spectra characterized by light higgsinos ~100-300 GeV, highly mixed top-squarks and gluinos at the 1-5 TeV scale and allows for m_h ~125 GeV. First and second generation squarks can easily live at the 5-20 TeV scale, thus providing at least a partial solution to the SUSY flavor/CP problems. For such models at the LHC, gluino pair production is followed by cascade decays to t- and b-quark rich final states along with multileptons. Read More

We show that the electroweak fine-tuning parameter \Delta_{\rm EW} derived from the well-known electroweak symmetry breaking condition written in terms of weak scale parameters leads to {\it a bound on fine-tuning in the MSSM} and explain its utility for phenomenological analyses. We argue that a small magnitude of the mu parameter, and the concomitant presence of light higgsinos, is the most basic consequence of naturalness in SUSY models, and list the resulting implications of this for experiments at the LHC and at future e^+e^- colliders. Read More

We interpret the PeV shower events observed by the IceCube collaboration as an s-channel enhancement of neutrino-quark scattering by a leptoquark that couples to the tau-flavor and light quarks. With a leptoquark mass of ~ 0.6 TeV and a steep 1/E^{2. Read More

Recently, two measures of electroweak finetuning (EWFT) have been introduced for SUSY models: \Delta_{EW} compares the Z mass to each separate weak scale contribution to m_Z while \Delta_{HS} compares the Z mass to high scale input parameters and their consequent renormalizaton group evolution (1/\Delta is the % of fine tuning). While the paradigm mSUGRA/CMSSM model has been shown to be highly finetuned under both parameters (\Delta_{EW}> 10^2 and \Delta_{HS}> 10^3), the two-parameter non-universal Higgs model (NUHM2) in the context of radiatively-driven natural SUSY (RNS) enjoys \Delta_{EW} as low as 10, while \Delta_{HS} remains > 10^3. We investigate finetuning in the 19-free-parameter SUGRA model (SUGRA19). Read More

Supersymmetric models which fulfill the conditions of electroweak naturalness generally contain light higgsinos with mass not too far from m_h ~125 GeV, while other sparticles can be much heavier. In R-parity conserving models, the lightest neutralino is then a higgsino-like WIMP (albeit with non-negligible gaugino components), with thermal relic density well below measured values. This leaves room for axions to function as co-dark matter particles. Read More

In supersymmetric models with light higgsinos (which are motivated by electroweak naturalness arguments), the direct production of higgsino pairs may be difficult to search for at LHC due to the low visible energy release from their decays. However, the wino pair production reaction \tw_2^\pm\tz_4\to (W^\pm\tz_{1,2})+(W^\pm\tw_1^\mp) also occurs at substantial rates and leads to final states including equally opposite-sign (OS) and same-sign (SS) diboson production. We propose a novel search channel for LHC14 based on the SS diboson plus missing E_T final state which contains only modest jet activity. Read More

We study a two Higgs doublet model augmented by a scalar dark matter particle that provides an excellent fit to the LHC Higgs data and the Fermi-LAT 135 GeV line. The heavy CP-even Higgs boson, which predominantly mediates annihilation and scattering, must have a coupling to weak gauge bosons at or below percent level to suppress the continuum gamma-ray spectrum below the limit from the Fermi-LAT data and the anti-proton spectrum constrained by the PAMELA data. Discovering or excluding this CP-even Higgs boson at the LHC with a mass between 265 and 280 GeV and an enhanced diphoton branching ratio is crucial to test this scenario. Read More