Leptons lurking in semi-visible jets at the LHC
Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ETH Zürich, 8093, Zurich, Switzerland
Accepted: 31 August 2022
Published online: 6 September 2022
This Letter proposes a new search for confining dark sectors at the Large Hadron Collider. As a result of the strong dynamics in the hidden sector, dark matter could manifest in proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider in form of hadronic jets containing stable invisible bound states. These semi-visible jets have been studied theoretically and experimentally in the fully hadronic signature where the unstable composite dark matter can only decay promptly back to Standard Model quarks. We present a simplified model based on two messenger fields separated by a large mass gap allowing dark bound states to decay into pairs of oppositely charged leptons. The resulting experimental signature is characterized by non-isolated lepton pairs inside semi-visible jets. We propose a search strategy independent from the underlying model assumptions targeting this new signature, and discuss the orthogonality with respect to the existing searches. Remaining agnostic on the shape of the di-lepton spectrum, we determine the sensitivity of a dedicated analysis to the target signal. The proposed search can claim the evidence (exclusion) of the heavier mediator up to masses of 3.5 TeV (4.5 TeV) with the full Run 2 data of the LHC. Exploiting the resonant feature of the lepton pairs can enhance the sensitivity reach on a specific model. We estimate that an analysis using the di-lepton invariant mass information can reach discovery up to masses of 3.5 TeV and improve the exclusion up to more than 5 TeV.
© The Author(s) 2022
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