We consider the possibility of "Higgs counterfeits" - scalars that can be produced with cross sections comparable to the SM Higgs, and which decay with identical relative observable branching ratios, but which are nonetheless not responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking. We also consider a related scenario involving "Higgs friends," fields similarly produced through gg fusion processes, which would be discovered through diboson channels WW;ZZ; γγ or even γZ, potentially with larger cross sections times branching ratios than for the Higgs. The discovery of either a Higgs friend or a Higgs counterfeit, rather than directly pointing towards the origin of the weak scale, would indicate the presence of new colored fields necessary for the sizable production cross section (and possibly new colorless but electroweakly charged states as well, in the case of the diboson decays of a Higgs friend). These particles could easily be confused for an ordinary Higgs, perhaps with an additional generation to explain the different cross section, and we emphasize the importance of vector boson fusion as a channel to distinguish a Higgs counterfeit from a true Higgs. Such fields would naturally be expected in scenarios with "effective Z's," where heavy states charged under the SM produce effective charges for SM fields under a new gauge force. We discuss the prospects for discovery of Higgs counterfeits, Higgs friends, and associated charged fields at the LHC.
- Beyond Standard Model
- Higgs Physics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics