Long-Lived Particles At the Energy Frontier: the Mathusla Physics Case

David Curtin, Marco Drewes, John C. McCullough, Patrick Meade, Rabindra N Mohapatra, Jessie Shelton, Brian Shuve, Elena Accomando, Cristiano Alpigiani, Stefan Antusch, Juan Carlos Arteaga-Velázquez, Brian Batell, Martin Bauer, Nikita Blinov, Karen Salomé Caballero-Mora, Jae Hyeok Chang, Eung Jin Chun, Raymond T Co, Timothy Cohen, Peter Cox, Nathaniel Craig, Csaba Csáki, Yanou Cui, Francesco D’Eramo, Luigi Delle Rose, P S Bhupal Dev, Keith R Dienes, Jeff A Dror, Rouven Essig, Jared A Evans, Jason L Evans, Arturo Fernández Tellez, Oliver Fischer, Thomas Flacke, Anthony Fradette, Claudia Frugiuele, Elina Fuchs, Tony Gherghetta, Gian F Giudice, Dmitry Gorbunov, Rick S Gupta, Claudia Hagedorn, Lawrence J Hall, Philip Harris, Juan Carlos Helo, Martin Hirsch, Yonit Hochberg, Anson Hook, Alejandro Ibarra, Seyda Ipek, Sunghoon Jung, Simon Knapen, Eric Kuflik, Zhen Liu, Salvator Lombardo, H J Lubatti, David McKeen, Emiliano Molinaro, Stefano Moretti, Natsumi Nagata, Matthias Neubert, Jose Miguel No, Emmanuel Olaiya, Gilad Perez, Michael E Peskin, David Pinner, Maxim Pospelov, Matthew Reece, Dean J Robinson, Mario Rodr√≠guez Cahuantzi, Rinaldo Santonico, Matthias Schlaffer, Clair Shepherd-Themistocleous, Andrew Spray, Daniel Stolarski, Martin A Subieta Vasquez, Raman Sundrum, Andrea Thamm, Brooks Thomas, Yuhsin Tsai, Brock Tweedie, Stephen M West, Charles Young, Felix Yu, Bryan Zaldivar, Yongchao Zhang, Kathryn Zurek, and José Zurita

Reports on Progress in Physics 82 (2019) 116201


We examine the theoretical motivations for long-lived particle (LLP) signals at the LHC in a comprehensive survey of standard model (SM) extensions. LLPs are a common prediction of a wide range of theories that address unsolved fundamental mysteries such as naturalness, dark matter, baryogenesis and neutrino masses, and represent a natural and generic possibility for physics beyond the SM (BSM). In most cases the LLP lifetime can be treated as a free parameter from the µm scale up to the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis limit of \( \sim 10^7\mathrm{m} \). Neutral LLPs with lifetimes above ~100 m are particularly difficult to probe, as the sensitivity of the LHC main detectors is limited by challenging backgrounds, triggers, and small acceptances. MATHUSLA is a proposal for a minimally instrumented, large-volume surface detector near ATLAS or CMS. It would search for neutral LLPs produced in HL-LHC collisions by reconstructing displaced vertices (DVs) in a low-background environment, extending the sensitivity of the main detectors by orders of magnitude in the long-lifetime regime. We study the LLP physics opportunities afforded by a MATHUSLA-like detector at the HL-LHC, assuming backgrounds can be rejected as expected. We develop a model-independent approach to describe the sensitivity of MATHUSLA to BSM LLP signals, and compare it to DV and missing energy searches at ATLAS or CMS. We then explore the BSM motivations for LLPs in considerable detail, presenting a large number of new sensitivity studies. While our discussion is especially oriented towards the long-lifetime regime at MATHUSLA, this survey underllnes the importance of a varied LLP search program at the LHC in general. By synthesizing these results into a general discussion of the top-down and bottom-up motivations for LLP searches, it is our aim to demonstrate the exceptional strength and breadth of the physics case for the construction of the MATHUSLA detector.