Interference effects for Higgs-mediated Z-pair plus jet production

We study interference effects in the production channel ZZ + jet, in particular focusing on the role of the Higgs boson. This production channel receives contributions both from Higgs boson-mediated diagrams via the decay $H \to ZZ$ (signal diagrams), as well as from diagrams where the Z-bosons couple directly to a quark loop (background diagrams). We consider the partonic processes $gggZZ$ and $gq \bar{q} ZZ$ in which interference between signal and background diagrams first occurs. Since interference is primarily an off-resonant effect for the Higgs boson, we treat the Z-bosons as on-shell. Thus our analysis is limited to the region above threshold, where the invariant mass of the Z-pair, $m_{ZZ}$, satisfies the condition $m_{ZZ}>2m_Z$. In the region $m_{ZZ} > 300$ GeV we find that the interference in the ZZ + jet channel is qualitatively similar to interference in the inclusive ZZ channel. Moreover, the rates are sufficient to study these effects at the LHC once jet-binned data become available.

Comments: 18 pages, 6 figures

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