Using Energy Peaks to Measure New Particle Masses


We discussed in arXiv:1209.0772 that the laboratory frame distribution of the energy of a massless particle from a two-body decay at a hadron collider has a peak whose location is identical to the value of this daughter's (fixed) energy in the rest frame of the corresponding mother particle. For that result to hold we assumed that the mother is unpolarized and has a generic boost distribution in the laboratory frame. In this work we discuss how this observation can be applied for determination of masses of new particles, without requiring a full reconstruction of their decay chains or information about the rest of the event. We focus on a two-step cascade decay of a massive particle that has one invisible particle in the final state: C -> Bb -> Aab, where C, B and A are new particles of which A is invisible and a, b are visible particles. Combining the measurements of the peaks of energy distributions of a and b with that of the edge in their invariant mass distribution, we demonstrate that it is in principle possible to determine separately all three masses of the new particles, in particular, without using any measurement of missing transverse momentum. Furthermore, we show how the use of the peaks in an inclusive energy distribution is generically less affected by combinatorial issues as compared to other mass measurement strategies. For some simplified, yet interesting, scenarios we find that these combinatorial issues are absent altogether. As an example of this general strategy, we study SUSY models where gluino decays to an invisible lightest neutralino via an on-shell bottom squark. Taking into account the dominant backgrounds, we show how the mass of the bottom squark, the gluino and (for some class of spectra) that of the neutralino can be determined using this technique.Comment: 42 pages, 11 figure

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