We consider interference between the Higgs signal and QCD background in gg→h→γγ and its effect on the on-shell Higgs rate. The existence of sizable strong phases leads to destructive interference of about 2% of the on-shell cross section in the standard model. This effect can be enhanced by beyond the standard model physics. In particular, since it scales differently from the usual rates, the presence of interference allows indirect limits to be placed on the Higgs width in a novel way, using on-shell rate measurements. Our study motivates further QCD calculations to reduce uncertainties. We discuss possible width-sensitive observables, both using total and differential rates and find that the HL-LHC can potentially indirectly constrain widths of order tens of MeV.
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This manuscript has been co-authored by employees of the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics. The U.S. Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the U.S. Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes.
© 2017 American Physical Society.