Higgs Boson production and decay

We know the Higgs boson has a rest mass greater than 114 GeV/c2, otherwise the LEP collider would have found it before its closure. The Tevatron can create particles upto 180 GeV/c2 rest mass. In this range of rest mass there are two dominant decay mechanisms which are of interest to physicists at the Tevatron (note that other decays exist but these ones are of specific interest to the Dě experiment). 

For a Higgs rest mass in the range of 80-130 GeV/c2 the below decay dominates.

The table below discusses how we can use this decay to detect the Higgs boson.

(Table notes: the ellipse in the diagram depicts several events which leads to the production of the Z0 boson.)

If the Higgs rest mass lies in the range 130-180GeV/c2 then the dominant decay mechanism is to two W bosons. 

If the rest mass of the Higgs is less than 160 GeV/c2 (i.e. less than twice the rest mass of the W boson) then one of the Ws produced will be virtual and not real, which is signified by a '*' above. We assume the Higgs boson to have zero charge, thus to conserve charge a W+ and W- must be produced. For more information on virtual particles click here.

Two decay series now arise which can be used to detect the Higgs boson and are discussed below.

(Table notes: The ellipse in the diagrams depict several events resulting in the production of the Higgs boson. The dotted line implies that the Higgs was produced for only a very brief instant of time. Although the W- is shown in the interactions below as the virtual particle, it is equally possible that the W+ is virtual and the W- real.)

Dě - HEP - Manchester - March 2001 

Last modified Wed 23 January 2002 . View page history
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