Precision Higgs coupling measurements at the LHC through ratios of production cross sections
Laboratoire de Physique Théorique, U. Paris-Sud and CNRS, 91405, Orsay, France
2 Theory Unit, Department of Physics, CERN, 1211, Geneva 23, Switzerland
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Revised: 26 March 2013
Published online: 12 July 2013
Now that the Higgs particle has been observed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC, the next endeavor would be to probe its fundamental properties and to measure its couplings to fermions and gauge bosons with the highest possible accuracy. However, the measurements will be limited by significant theoretical uncertainties that affect the production cross section in the main production channels as well as by experimental systematical errors. Following earlier work, we propose in this paper to consider ratios of Higgs production cross sections times decay branching ratios in which most of the theoretical uncertainties and some systematical errors, such as the ones due to the luminosity measurement and the Higgs decay branching fractions, cancel out. The couplings of the Higgs particle could be then probed in a way that will be mostly limited by the statistical accuracy achievable at the LHC and accuracies at the percent level are foreseen for some of the ratios at the end of the LHC run. At the theoretical level, these ratios are also interesting as they do not involve the ambiguities that affect the Higgs total decay width in new physics scenarios. To illustrate how these ratios can be used to determine the Higgs couplings, we perform a rough analysis of the recent ATLAS and CMS data which shows that there is presently no significant deviation from the Standard Model expectation.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica, 2013