Searching for confining hidden valleys at LHCb, ATLAS, and CMS

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Abstract

We explore strategies for probing hidden valley scenarios exhibiting confinement. Such scenarios lead to a moderate multiplicity of light hidden hadrons for generic showering and hadronization similar to QCD. Their decays are typically soft and displaced, making them challenging to probe with traditional LHC searches. We show that the low trigger requirements and excellent track and vertex reconstruction at LHCb provide a favorable environment to search for such signals. We propose novel search strategies in both muonic and hadronic channels. We also study existing ATLAS and CMS searches and compare them with our proposals at LHCb. We find that the reach at LHCb is generically better in the parameter space we consider here, even with optimistic background estimations for ATLAS and CMS searches. We discuss potential modifications at ATLAS and CMS that might make these experiments competitive with the LHCb reach. Our proposed searches can be applied to general hidden valley models as well as exotic Higgs boson decays, such as in twin Higgs models.

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Pierce, A., Shakya, B., Tsai, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2018). Searching for confining hidden valleys at LHCb, ATLAS, and CMS. Physical Review D, 97(9). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.97.095033

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