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Publication# Naturalness and Neutral Naturalness in the LHC Era

Abstract

We present two different approaches to solve the hierarchy problem of the Standard Model and to provide a consistent dynamical mechanism for electroweak symmetry breaking. As a first scenario, we follow the naturalness paradigm as realized in Composite Higgs theories, which conceive the Higgs particle as a bound state of a new strongly interacting sector confining at the TeV scale. We present a minimal implementation of the model and study in detail the phenomenology of vector resonances, which are predicted as states excited from the vacuum by the conserved currents of the new strong dynamics. This analysis allows us to derive constraints on the parameter space of Composite Higgs models from the presently available LHC data and to confront naturalness with experimental results. Motivated by the rising tension between theoretical expectations and the absence of new physics signals at the LHC, we consider as a second possibility the neutral naturalness paradigm and address the hierarchy problem by posing the existence of a mirror copy of the Standard Model, as realized in Twin Higgs theories. This new color-blind sector is the main actor in protecting the Higgs mass from large radiative corrections and is un-discoverable at the LHC, allowing us to push far in the ultraviolet the scale where the Standard Model effective theory breaks down and colored resonances appear. We present an implementation of the Twin Higgs program into a composite model and discuss the requirements for uplifting the symmetry protection mechanism also to the ultraviolet theory. After introducing a consistent Composite Twin Higgs model, we consider the constraints imposed on the scale where colored resonances are expected by the determination of the Higgs mass at three loops order, electroweak precision tests and perturbativity of the ultraviolet-complete model. We show that, although allowing in principle the new physics scale to lie far out of the LHC reach, these constructions need the existence of light colored top partners, with a mass of around 2-4 TeV, to comply with indirect observations. Neutral naturalness models may then evade detection at the LHC, but they can be probed and falsified at future colliders.

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We use an effective Lagrangian approach to address the question of the dynamics of electroweak symmetry breaking in the Standard Model (SM) and its relation to the hierarchy problem. Composite Higgs models provide a solution by describing the recently discovered Higgs-like scalar particle as a composite pseudo Nambu-Goldstone boson that dissolves into its constituents above a certain high energy scale. We discuss many features of the low energy description of composite Higgs models and present an explicit realisation in a flat extra dimension showing explicitly that top partners with masses below 1TeV are expected in a natural theory. Naturalness requires New Physics not much above the weak scale and hence motivates the search for direct and indirect evidence of physics beyond the SM at the LHC and future colliders. As an indirect probe at the LHC, we propose a dedicated analysis of single top production in association with a Higgs boson to lift the degeneracy in the sign of the top Yukawa coupling. We move on to an extensive study of WW scattering, double and triple Higgs production at future linear colliders to estimate their impact on the parameter space of a strongly interacting Higgs boson. Direct probes of New Physics at the LHC include the search for heavy vectors and fermions. We introduce a model-independent strategy to study narrow resonances which we apply to a heavy vector triplet of the SM for illustration. We conclude by summarising current constraints and the expected reach of future colliders on the parameter space of a minimal composite Higgs model. This thesis is based on the papers in Refs. [1–4].

High-energy particle physics is going through a crucial moment of its history, one in which it can finally aspire to give a precise answer to some of the fundamental questions it has been conceived for. On the one side, the theoretical picture describing the elementary strong and electroweak interactions below the TeV scale, the Standard Model, has been well consolidated over the decades by the observation and the precise characterization of its constituents. On the other hand, the enormous technological potentialities nowadays available, and the skills accumulated in decades of collider experiments with increasingly high complexity, render for the first time plausible the possibility of addressing complicated and conceptually deep questions like the ones at hand. The best incarnation of this high level of sophistication is the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful experimental apparatus ever built, which is designed to shed light on the true nature of fundamental interactions at energies never attained before, and which has already started to open a new era in physics with the recent discovery of the longed-for Higgs boson, a true milestone for the human knowledge as well as one of the most important discoveries in the modern epoch. The knowledge that has been and is going to be reached in these crucial years would of course not be conceivable without a deep interplay between the theoretical and the experimental efforts. In particular, on the theoretical side, not only there are wide groups of researchers devoted to building possible extensions to the Standard Model, which draws the guidelines of current and future experiments, but also there is a vast community whose research is rather aimed at the precise predictions of all the physical observables that could be measured at colliders, and at the systematic improvement of the approximations that currently constrain such predictions. On top of representing the state-of-the-art of the human understanding of the properties that regulate elementary-particle interactions and of the formalisms that describe them, the developments of this line of research have an immediate and significant impact on experiments. Firstly, these detailed calculations are the very theoretical predictions against which experimental data are compared, so they are crucial in establishing the validity or not of the theories according to which they are performed. Secondly, the signals one wants to extract from data at modern colliders are so tiny and difficult to single out that the experimental searches themselves need be supplemented by a detailed work of theoretical modelling and simulation. In this respect, high-precision computations play an essential role in all analysis strategies devised by experimental collaborations, and in many aspects of the detector calibration. It is clear that, for theoretical computations to be useful in experimental analyses and simulations, the predictions they yield should be reliable for all possible configurations of the particles to be detected. Thus the key feature for the present theoretical collider physics is not particularly the computation of observables with high precision only in a limited region of the phase space, but the capability of combining (‘matching’) in a consistent way different approaches, each of which is reliable in a particular kinematic regime. With this perspective, matching techniques represent one of the most promising and successful theoretical frameworks currently available, and are considered as eminently valuable tools both on the theoretical and on the experimental sides. Matched computations are based on a perturbation-theory approach for the description of configurations in which the scattering products are well separated and/or highly energetic: in particular the precision currently attained for all but a few of the relevant processes within the Standard Model is the next-to-leading order (NLO) in powers of the strong quantum-chromodynamics (QCD) coupling constant αS; for the description of configurations in which the particles outgoing the collisions are close to each other and/or have low energy, it can be shown that the perturbation-theory expansion breaks down, and then a complementary method, like the parton shower Monte Carlo (PSMC), has instead to be employed. The task of matching is precisely that of giving a prediction that interpolates between the two approaches in a smooth and theoretically-consistent way. This thesis is focused on MC@NLO, a high-energy physics formalism capable of matching computations performed at the NLO in QCD to PSMC generators, in such a way as to retain the virtues of both approaches while discarding their mutual deficiencies. In particular, the thesis reports on the work successfully achieved in extending MC@NLO from its original numerical implementation, tailored on the HERWIG PSMC, to the other main PSMC programs currently employed by experimental collaborations, PYTHIA and Herwig++, confirming the advocated universality of the method. Differences in the various realizations are explained in detail both at the formal level and through the simulation of various Standard-Model reactions. Moreover we describe how the MC@NLO framework has been developed so as to render its implementation automatic with respect to the physics process one is about to simulate: beyond yielding an enormous increase in its potential for present and future collider phenomenology, and upgrading the standard of precision for high-energy computations to the NLO+PSMC level, this development allows for the first time the application of the MC@NLO formalism to a huge number of relevant and highly complicated reactions, through an implementation which is also easily usable by people well-outside the community of experts in QCD calculations. As example of this new version, called aMC@NLO, recent results are presented for complex scattering processes, involving four or five final-state particles. Finally, possible extensions of the framework to theories beyond the Standard Model, like the supersymmetric version of QCD, are briefly introduced.

Effective Field Theories (EFTs) allow a description of low energy effects of heavy new physics Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) in terms of higher dimensional operators among the SM fields. EFTs are not only an elegant and consistent way to describe heavy new physics but they represent, at the same time, a valuable experimental tool for collider searches. The Standard Model Effective Field Theory naturally parametrizes the space of models BSM and measuring its interactions is, nowadays, substantial part of the theoretical and the experimental program at the (HL-)LHC and at future colliders. In this thesis we address the theoretical challenges of this Beyond the Standard Model precision program, following three different paths.Firstly, we present some results towards the so-called high-$p_T$ program at the (HL-)LHC, targeting to measure energy growing effects of higher dimensional operators in the tail of kinematic distributions. Concretely, we focus on dilepton production and we study the sensitivity to flavor universal dimension-six operators interfering with the SM and enhanced by the energy. We produce theoretical predictions for the SM and the dim-6 EFT operators at NLO-QCD, including 1-loop EW logs. Our predictions are based on event reweighting of SM Montecarlo simulations and allow an easy scan of the multi-dimensional new physics parameter space on data. Furthermore we asses the impact of the various sources of theoretical uncertainties and we study the projected sensitivity of (HL-)LHC to the EFT interactions under consideration and to concrete BSM scenario.We then turn to future colliders and in particular to very high energy lepton colliders. In this context we study the potential of such machines with about 10 TeV center of mass energy to probe Higgs, ElectroWeak and Top physics at 100 TeV via precise measurements of EFT interactions. A peculiar aspect of so energetic ElectroWeak processes is the prominent phenomenon of the EW radiation. On one hand we find that consistent and sufficiently accurate predictions require resummations, that we perform at double logarithmic order. On the other hand we show how the study of the radiation pattern can enhance the sensitivity to new physics. We assess our results in Composite Higgs and Top scenarios and minimal Z' models.Finally, we move to a top-down perspective and we perform a phenomenological study of composite Higgs models with partially composite Standard Models quarks. Starting from maximally symmetric scenarios that realize minimal flavor violation, we test various assumptions for the flavor structure of the strong sector. Among the different models we consider, we find that there is an optimal amount of symmetries that protects from (chromo-)electric dipoles and reduces, at the same time, constraints from other flavor observables.