Have we observed the Higgs boson (imposter)?

Ian Low*, Joseph Lykken, Gabe Shaughnessy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


We interpret the new particle at the Large Hadron Collider as a CP-even scalar and investigate its electroweak quantum number. Assuming an unbroken custodial invariance as suggested by precision electroweak measurements, only four possibilities are allowed if the scalar decays to pairs of gauge bosons, as exemplified by a dilaton/radion, a nondilatonic electroweak singlet scalar, an electroweak doublet scalar, and electroweak triplet scalars. We show that current LHC data already strongly disfavor both the "plain-vanilla" dilatonic and nondilatonic singlet imposters. On the other hand, a generic Higgs doublet gives excellent fits to the measured event rates of the newly observed scalar resonance, while the Standard Model Higgs boson gives a slightly worse overall fit due to the lack of a signal in the ττ channel. The triplet imposter exhibits some tension with the data. The global fit indicates that the enhancement in the diphoton channel could be attributed to an enhanced partial decay width, while the production rates are consistent with the Standard Model expectations. We emphasize that more precise measurements of the ratio of event rates in the WW over ZZ channels, as well as the event rates in bb̄ and ττ channels, are needed to further distinguish the Higgs doublet from the triplet imposter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093012
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 8 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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