Search for neutral higgs bosons in e+e- collisions

by Raspereza, Alexei

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis is devoted to the search for neutral Higgs bosons predicted by various theoretical models. The Higgs boson arises as a result of spontaneous breaking of SU(2) symmetry leading to the generation of masses of fermions and weak bosons. The search is done in all experimentally related channels using the data collected at center-of-mass energies up to 209 GeV in the years 1998-2000 with the L3 detector at the Large Electron Positron collider, LEP. Here the study of the final states characterised by four jets is described in detail. For other final states the analyses are briefly reviewed and the results are reported. The data are compared with the expectation from the Standard Model background processes and with various signal hypotheses. A model independent search for neutral Higgs bosons is also performed. No evidence for the production of Higgs bosons is found. New mass limits are determined superseding previous mass limits established by L3 and other experiments. First I describe the analysis searching for the Standard Model Higgs Boson. Its production at LEP is expected mainly via the Higgs-strahlung process. In the mass range accessible at LEP the Standard Model Higgs Boson is predicted to decay dominantly into a pair of b and anti-b quarks, hence the dedicated analyses are optimised for the H->bb decay mode. The four-jet signal topology is investigated and then combined with the other search channels leading to a lower mass limit of mH > 112.0 GeV at 95% C.L.. The results of the search are also interpreted in terms of limits on the HZZ coupling. In the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) the Higgs sector is extended to five physical states. The Higgs-strahlung process is complemented by the mechanism of the Higgs boson pair production e+e- -> hA. Therefore, for the interpretation of the results in the framework of the MSSM the Standard Model analyses are combined with the hA -> bb tau+tau-, hA -> bbbb and hZ->AAqq channels. Three benchmark MSSM scenarios denoted "mh-max", "no mixing" and "large-mu" are considered. Using L3 data the lower bounds on the Higgs boson masses mh > 84.5 GeV mA > 86.3 GeV are derived at 95% C.L. for tan(beta) > 0.7. For the "mh-max", "no mixing" and "large-mu" scenarios, ranges 0.55 < tan(beta) < 2.2, 0.4 < tan(beta) < 4.9 and 0.7 < tan(beta) < 6.2, respectively, are ruled out. A model independent search for the Higgs-strahlung process with subsequent decay of h into hadrons is carried out in the four-jet channel. The results of the analysis are then combined with the other channels. A limit on the hZZ coupling as a function of the Higgs boson mass is derived. The results of L3 combined search establish a 95% C.L. lower mass limit, mh > 97 GeV, for a hadronically decaying Higgs boson assuming the cross section of the Higgs-strahlung process to be equal to the value predicted by the Standard Model and the branching fraction of the Higgs boson into hadrons equal to 100%. Analyses are developed to search exclusively for the hA -> bbbb, hA -> qqqq, hA -> bb tau+tau- and hA -> qq tau+tau- final states. Results of these analyses are translated into a 95% C.L. upper limit on the hAZ coupling as a function of Higgs boson masses. Searches for neutral Higgs bosons carried out by the L3 collaboration are combined with searches performed in other LEP experiments. The results of this combination are reported. The perspectives of Higgs boson searches at TEVATRON and LHC are briefly reviewed. The prospects of Higgs physics at a future linear e+e- collider are discussed. The potential of the TESLA detector foreseen at the TESLA linear collider for the determination of Higgs boson properties is studied. The Higgs boson masses 120, 150 and 180 GeV are considered. It is shown that a precision of 40 - 70 MeV in the measurement of the Higgs boson mass can be achieved. A model independent method to measure the e+e- -> HZ cross section is proposed. The method is based on the study of the inclusive HZ -> X e+e- and X mu+mu- channels. The relative error in the determination of the cross section varies between 2.6% and 3.8% for Higgs boson mass ranging from 120 GeV to 180 GeV. For the four-fermion and six-fermion final states arising from the Higgs-strahlung process the accuracy of the measurement of a topological cross section, defined as the product of the Higgs-strahlung cross section and the branching fraction of the specific final state, is investigated. The relative uncertainty of this measurement varies from 1.1% and 13%, depending on final state and Higgs boson mass. These and other measurements will allow to determine the profile of the Higgs boson and give insight into the structure of the Higgs sector in nature.
This document abstract is also available in German.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

School Location:Germany

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Standard Model Searches Minimal Supersymmetric Higgs Bosonen bosons


Date of Publication:05/28/2004

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