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Longitudinal Z-boson polarization and the Higgs boson production cross-section

Simone Amoroso

SciPost Phys. Proc. 8, 016 (2022) · published 11 July 2022

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Lepton pairs are produced copiously in high-energy hadron collisions via electroweak gauge boson exchange, and are one of the most precisely measured final states in proton- proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We propose that measurements of lepton angular distributions can be used to improve the accuracy of theoretical predic- tions for Higgs boson production cross sections at the LHC. To this end, we exploit the sensitivity of the lepton angular coefficient associated with the longitudinal Z-boson polarization to the parton density function (PDF) for gluons resolved from the incoming protons, in order to constrain the Higgs boson cross section from gluon fusion processes. By a detailed numerical analysis using the open-source platform xFitter, we find that high-statistics determinations of the longitudinally polarized angular coefficient at the LHC Run III and high-luminosity HL-LHC improve the PDF systematics of the Higgs boson cross section predictions by 50 % over a broad range of Higgs boson rapidities.

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