CMSPASHIG22004  
Search for a heavy CPodd Higgs boson decaying into a 125 GeV Higgs boson and a Z boson in final states with two tau and two light leptons at $ \sqrt{s}= $ 13 TeV  
CMS Collaboration  
20 July 2024  
Abstract: A search for a heavy CPodd Higgs boson, $ \mathrm{A} $, decaying into a 125 GeV Higgs boson $ \mathrm{h} $ and a Z boson is presented. The $ \mathrm{h} $ boson is identified via its decay into a pair of tau leptons, while the Z boson is identified via its decay to a pair of electrons or muons. The search targets production of the $ \mathrm{A} $ boson via the gluongluon fusion process, $ \mathrm{gg\rightarrow A} $, and in association with bottom quarks, $ \mathrm{b\bar{b}A} $. The analysis uses a data sample collected with the CMS detector at $ \sqrt{s} = $ 13 TeV, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 138 fb$^{1}$. Constraints are set on the product of the branching fraction for the $ \mathrm{A}\rightarrow\mathrm{Zh} $ decay and the cross sections of the $ \mathrm{A} $ production mechanisms. The observed (expected) upper limit at 95% confidence level ranges from 0.055 (0.072) pb to 1.00 (0.80) pb for the $ \mathrm{gg\rightarrow A} $ process and from 0.051 (0.067) pb to 0.77 (0.63) pb for the $ \mathrm{b\bar{b}A} $ process in the probed range of the $ \mathrm{A} $ boson mass, $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $, between 225 GeV to 800 GeV. The results of the search are used to constrain parameters within the $ {\text{M}_{\text{h,EFT}}^{\text{125}}} $ benchmark scenario of the minimal supersymmetric extension of the standard model. Values of $ \tan\beta $ below 2.2 are excluded in this scenario at 95% confidence level for all $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $ values in the range from 225 GeV to 350 GeV.  
Links: CDS record (PDF) ; Physics Briefing ; CADI line (restricted) ; 
Figures & Tables  Summary  Additional Figures  References  CMS Publications 

Figures  
png pdf 
Figure 1:
Feynman diagrams representing the production of the pseudoscalar A boson via gluongluon fusion (left) and associated production with a bottom quarkantiquark pair. In each case, A decays into an SMlike Higgs boson and a Z boson. 
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Figure 1a:
Feynman diagrams representing the production of the pseudoscalar A boson via gluongluon fusion (left) and associated production with a bottom quarkantiquark pair. In each case, A decays into an SMlike Higgs boson and a Z boson. 
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Figure 1b:
Feynman diagrams representing the production of the pseudoscalar A boson via gluongluon fusion (left) and associated production with a bottom quarkantiquark pair. In each case, A decays into an SMlike Higgs boson and a Z boson. 
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Figure 2:
The distribution of the reconstructed mass of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ candidate (left plot) and of the $ \mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}\to(\ell\ell)(\tau\tau) $ candidate (right plot) in a 2018 simulated sample of $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ events with $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 300 GeV. Several methods of mass reconstruction are compared: 1) using only the visible $ \tau $ products ($ m_{\tau\tau}^{\text{vis}} $ in the left plot and $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{vis}} $ in the right plot, blue histograms), 2) using the FASTMTT algorithm to correct for missing momentum carried away by neutrinos in the $ \tau $ decays ($ m_{\tau\tau}^{\text{corr}} $ in the left plot and $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{corr}} $ in the right plot, orange histograms), and 3) using the FASTMTT algorithm with a mass constraint of 125 GeV for the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ candidate ($ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{cons}} $ in the right plot, green histogram). All final states of the $ \mathrm{A} $ boson decay are combined. Distributions are obtained before applying any selection and by setting value of $ \sigma(\mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A})\cdot{\cal{B}}(\mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}\to(\ell\ell)(\tau\tau)) $ to 1 fb. 
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Figure 3:
The reconstructed fourlepton mass, $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{cons}} $, in the $ \text{no btag} $ (left plot) and $ \text{btag} $ (right plot) categories. Background distributions are shown after applying maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. Simulated samples corresponding to the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ production modes of a pseudoscalar Higgs boson with a mass of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} = $ 350 GeV, are overlaid to illustrate the expected signal contribution. Signal yields are computed by setting $ \sigma\cdot{\cal{B}}(\mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}) $ to benchmark value of 0.5 pb for both $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ processes. Hatched bands indicate uncertainties in the total background as obtained by performing maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. In the statistical inference the highest mass bin covers the range from 1.05 to 2.4 TeV in both $ \text{no btag} $ and $ \text{btag} $ categories. For visualisation purposes this bin is shown in the range from 1.05 to 1.2 TeV. Contents of this bin along with the corresponding uncertainties are divided by the bin width of the original histogram, i.e. by 2.4 $ $ 1.05 $ = $ 1.35 TeV. 
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Figure 3a:
The reconstructed fourlepton mass, $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{cons}} $, in the $ \text{no btag} $ (left plot) and $ \text{btag} $ (right plot) categories. Background distributions are shown after applying maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. Simulated samples corresponding to the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ production modes of a pseudoscalar Higgs boson with a mass of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} = $ 350 GeV, are overlaid to illustrate the expected signal contribution. Signal yields are computed by setting $ \sigma\cdot{\cal{B}}(\mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}) $ to benchmark value of 0.5 pb for both $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ processes. Hatched bands indicate uncertainties in the total background as obtained by performing maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. In the statistical inference the highest mass bin covers the range from 1.05 to 2.4 TeV in both $ \text{no btag} $ and $ \text{btag} $ categories. For visualisation purposes this bin is shown in the range from 1.05 to 1.2 TeV. Contents of this bin along with the corresponding uncertainties are divided by the bin width of the original histogram, i.e. by 2.4 $ $ 1.05 $ = $ 1.35 TeV. 
png 
Figure 3b:
The reconstructed fourlepton mass, $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^{\text{cons}} $, in the $ \text{no btag} $ (left plot) and $ \text{btag} $ (right plot) categories. Background distributions are shown after applying maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. Simulated samples corresponding to the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ production modes of a pseudoscalar Higgs boson with a mass of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} = $ 350 GeV, are overlaid to illustrate the expected signal contribution. Signal yields are computed by setting $ \sigma\cdot{\cal{B}}(\mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}) $ to benchmark value of 0.5 pb for both $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ processes. Hatched bands indicate uncertainties in the total background as obtained by performing maximum likelihood fit to data under backgroundonly hypothesis. In the statistical inference the highest mass bin covers the range from 1.05 to 2.4 TeV in both $ \text{no btag} $ and $ \text{btag} $ categories. For visualisation purposes this bin is shown in the range from 1.05 to 1.2 TeV. Contents of this bin along with the corresponding uncertainties are divided by the bin width of the original histogram, i.e. by 2.4 $ $ 1.05 $ = $ 1.35 TeV. 
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Figure 4:
The expected and observed upper limit at 95% CL on the production crosssection times branching ratio of the $ \mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h} $ decay for $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ (upper plot) and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ (lower plot) processes as a function of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $. The limits for the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ ($ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $) process are derived with the rate of other process fixed to zero. The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. 
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Figure 4a:
The expected and observed upper limit at 95% CL on the production crosssection times branching ratio of the $ \mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h} $ decay for $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ (upper plot) and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ (lower plot) processes as a function of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $. The limits for the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ ($ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $) process are derived with the rate of other process fixed to zero. The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. 
png 
Figure 4b:
The expected and observed upper limit at 95% CL on the production crosssection times branching ratio of the $ \mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h} $ decay for $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ (upper plot) and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ (lower plot) processes as a function of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $. The limits for the $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ ($ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $) process are derived with the rate of other process fixed to zero. The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. 
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Figure 5:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_\mathrm{A}= $ 250 (topleft plot), 300 (topright plot), 350 (bottomleft plot), and 400 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 5a:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_\mathrm{A}= $ 250 (topleft plot), 300 (topright plot), 350 (bottomleft plot), and 400 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 5b:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_\mathrm{A}= $ 250 (topleft plot), 300 (topright plot), 350 (bottomleft plot), and 400 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 5c:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_\mathrm{A}= $ 250 (topleft plot), 300 (topright plot), 350 (bottomleft plot), and 400 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 5d:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_\mathrm{A}= $ 250 (topleft plot), 300 (topright plot), 350 (bottomleft plot), and 400 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png pdf 
Figure 6:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 500 (topleft plot), 600 (topright plot), 700 (bottomleft plot) and 800 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 6a:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 500 (topleft plot), 600 (topright plot), 700 (bottomleft plot) and 800 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 6b:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 500 (topleft plot), 600 (topright plot), 700 (bottomleft plot) and 800 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 6c:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 500 (topleft plot), 600 (topright plot), 700 (bottomleft plot) and 800 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
png 
Figure 6d:
Twodimensional constraints on the cross sections times branching ratio for the two production mechanisms. The confidence level intervals are derived for mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 500 (topleft plot), 600 (topright plot), 700 (bottomleft plot) and 800 GeV (bottomright plot). The branching fraction of the $ \mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau $ decay is set to the value predicted in the SM, $ {\cal{B}}(\mathrm{h}\to\tau\tau)= $ 0.062 [52]. Computation of the bestfit point and determination of 68% and 95% CL contours are described in text. 
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Figure 7:
Lower 95% CL limit on $ \tan\beta $ as a function of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $ in the $ \text{M}_{\text{h,EFT}}^{\text{125}} $ MSSM scenario. 
Tables  
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Table 1:
Efficiencies for the identification of $ \tau_\mathrm{h} $ decays and corresponding misidentification rates (given in parentheses) for the working points of $ D_{\mathrm{e}} $, $ D_{\mu} $, and $ D_{\text{jet}} $, chosen for the $ \mathrm{h} \rightarrow\tau\tau $ selection, depending on the $ \mathrm{h} \rightarrow\tau\tau $ final state. The numbers are given as percentages. Efficiencies and misidentification rates are determined in the course of dedicated studies [24]. The $ \mathrm{Z}\to\tau\tau $ standard candle is used to measure $ \tau_\mathrm{h} $ identification efficiency. Samples of $ \mathrm{Z}\to\mathrm{e}\mathrm{e} $ and $ \mathrm{Z}\to\mu\mu $ decays are employed to measure $ \mathrm{e}\to\tau_\mathrm{h} $ and $ \mu\to\tau_\mathrm{h} $ misidentification rates, respectively. Samples of $ \mathrm{W}(\to\ell\nu)+{\text{jets}} $ events and top quarkantiquark pairs are exploited to measure $ \text{jet}\to\tau_\mathrm{h} $ misidentification rate. 
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Table 2:
Dominant sources of systematic uncertainty considered in this analysis. The symbol $ \dagger $ indicates uncertainties that affect both the shape and normalization of the final $ m_{\ell\ell\tau\tau}^\mathrm{cons} $ distributions. Uncertainties without $ \dagger $ affect only normalization. The magnitude column lists an approximation of the associated change in normalization. 
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Table 3:
Expected and observed yields in the final selected sample. Three datataking periods are combined. Numbers are reported individually for $ \text{no btag} $ and $ \text{btag} $ categories and three analyzed ditau decay modes: $ \mathrm{e}\tau_\mathrm{h} $, $ \mu\tau_\mathrm{h} $ and $ \tau_\mathrm{h}\tau_\mathrm{h} $. Background yields and related uncertainties are obtained after performing a maximum likelihood fit to the data under backgroundonly hypothesis. Signal yields are computed for representatively chosen mass hypotheses of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} = $ 250, 350, 500 and 800 GeV, by setting $ \sigma\cdot{\cal{B}}(\mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h}) $ to benchmark value of 0.5 pb for both $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ and $ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $ processes. 
Summary 
A search is presented for the decay of heavy pseudoscalar boson $ \mathrm{A} $ to a Z boson and 125 GeV Higgs boson, $ \mathrm{h} $ in final states with two light leptons $ (\mathrm{e}\mathrm{e},\mu\mu) $ and two $ \tau $ leptons using 138 fb$^{1}$ of protonproton collision data collected by the CMS experiment at $ \sqrt{s}= $ 13 TeV. No evidence for a signal is found in data. Upper limits at 95% confidence level are derived on the product of the cross section and branching ratio of the $ \mathrm{A}\to\mathrm{Z}\mathrm{h} $ decay under the assumption that the scalar state $ \mathrm{h} $ has the properties of the 125 GeV SM Higgs boson. Observed limits range from 0.055 (0.051) pb at $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 800 GeV to 1.00 (0.80) pb at $ m_{\mathrm{A}}= $ 250 GeV for $ \mathrm{g}\mathrm{g}\rightarrow\mathrm{A} $ ($ \mathrm{b}\bar{\mathrm{b}}\mathrm{A} $) process. The results of the search are also interpreted in terms of constraints on $ \tan\beta $ as a function of $ m_{\mathrm{A}} $ within the $ \text{M}_{\text{h,EFT}}^{\text{125}} $ MSSM benchmark scenario. Values of $ \tan\beta $ below 2.2 are excluded at 95% CL in the mass range of 225 $ \le m_{\mathrm{A}}\le $ 350 GeV. 
Additional Figures  
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Additional Figure 1:
Expected upper limits at 95% CL on the $\mathrm{gg\rightarrow A}$ production crosssection times branching ratio of the $\mathrm{A\rightarrow Zh}$ decay from the previous CMS analysis performed on the 2016 dataset, are compared with the new result from the present analysis based on the same dataset. The present analysis outperforms the previous one in the entire $m_{\mathrm{A}}$ range from 225 GeV to 400 GeV, probed by the previous analysis, profiting from a more performant bquark jet tagger (DeepJet), $\tau$ lepton tagger (DeepTau) and reoptimized analysis strategy. 
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