Infoscience

Journal article

Lifting degeneracies in Higgs couplings using single top production in association with a Higgs boson

Current Higgs data show an ambiguity in the value of the Yukawa couplings to quarks and leptons. Not so much because of still large uncertainties in the measurements but as the result of several almost degenerate minima in the coupling profile likelihood function. To break these degeneracies, it is important to identify and measure processes where the Higgs coupling to fermions interferes with other coupling(s). The most prominent example, the decay of h -> gamma gamma, is not sufficient to give a definitive answer. In this paper, we argue that t-channel single top production in association with a Higgs boson, with h -> b (b) over bar, can provide the necessary information to lift the remaining degeneracy in the top Yukawa. Within the Standard Model, the total rate is highly reduced due to an almost perfect destructive interference in the hard process, Wb -> th. We first show that for non-standard couplings the cross section can be reliably computed without worrying about corrections from physics beyond the cutoff scale Lambda greater than or similar to 10 TeV, and that it can be enhanced by more than one order of magnitude compared to the SM. We then study the signal pp -> thj(b) with 3 and 4 b's in the final state, and its main backgrounds at the LHC. We find the 8 TeV run dataset to be sensitive to the sign of the anomalous top Yukawa coupling, while already a moderate integrated luminosity at 14 TeV should lift the degeneracy completely.

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