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|New Physics Undercover at the LHC
|Lou, Hou Keong
|Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
|With the completion of 7 TeV and 8 TeV data taking at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the physics community witnessed one of the great triumphs of modern physics: the completion of the Standard Model (SM) as an effective theory. The final missing particle, the Higgs boson, was observed and its mass was measured. However, many theoretical questions remain unanswered. What is the source of electroweak symmetry breaking? What is the nature of dark matter? How does gravity fit into the picture? With no definitive hints of new physics at the LHC, we must consider the possibility that our search strategies need to be expanded. Conventional LHC searches focus on theoretically motivated scenarios, such as the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Models and Little Higgs Theories. However, it is possible that new physics may be entirely different from what we might expect. In this thesis, we examine a variety of scenarios that lead to new physics undercover at the LHC. First we look at potential new physics hiding in Quantum Chromo-Dynamics backgrounds, which may be uncovered using jet substructure techniques in a data-driven way. Then we turn to new long-lived particles hiding in Higgs decay, which may lead to displaced vertices. Such a signal can be unearthed through a data-driven analysis. Then we turn to new physics with ``semi-visible jets'', which lead to missing momentum aligned with jet momentum. These events are vetoed in traditional searches and we demonstrate ways to uncover these signals. Lastly, we explore performance of future colliders in two case studies: Stops and Higgs Portal searches. We show that a 100 TeV collider will lead to significant improvements over 14 TeV LHC runs. Indeed, new physics may lie undercover at the LHC and future colliders, waiting to be discovered.
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|Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
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