Resolving gluon fusion loops at current and future hadron colliders


Inclusive Higgs measurements at the LHC have limited resolution on the gluon fusion loops, being unable to distinguish the long-distance contributions mediated by the top quark from possible short-distance new physics effects. Using an Effective Field Theory (EFT) approach we compare several proposed methods to lift this degeneracy, including $t\bar{t}h$ and boosted, off-shell and double Higgs production, and perform detailed projections to the High-Luminosity LHC and a future hadron collider. In addition, we revisit off-shell Higgs production. Firstly, we point out its sensitivity to modifications of the top-$Z$ couplings, and by means of a general analysis we show that the reach is comparable to that of tree-level processes such as $t\bar{t}Z$ production. Implications for composite Higgs models are also discussed. Secondly, we assess the regime of validity of the EFT, performing an explicit comparison for a simple extension of the Standard Model containing one vector-like quark.Comment: 17 pages + appendices and references; v2: reference list extended and note added. Version published in JHEP; v3: mistake corrected in double Higgs production contours of Fig. 1. Minor modifications to the related discussion, conclusions unchange

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