Direct constraint on the Higgs-charm coupling from a search for Higgs boson decays into charm quarks with the ATLAS detector

ATLAS Collaboration, Paul Newman

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A search for the Higgs boson decaying into a pair of charm quarks is presented. The analysis uses proton-proton collisions to target the production of a Higgs boson in association with a leptonically decaying W or Z boson. The dataset delivered by the LHC at a centre-of-mass energy of √s = 13 TeV and recorded by the ATLAS detector corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 139 fb−1. Flavour-tagging algorithms are used to identify jets originating from the hadronisation of charm quarks. The analysis method is validated with the simultaneous measurement of WW,WZ and ZZ production, with observed (expected) significances of 2.6 (2.2) standard deviations above the background-only prediction for the (W/Z)Z(→cc̅) process and 3.8 (4.6) standard deviations for the (W/Z)W(→cq) process. The (W/Z)H(→cc̅) search yields an observed (expected) upper limit of 26 (31) times the predicted Standard Model cross-section times branching fraction for a Higgs boson with a mass of 125 GeV, corresponding to an observed (expected) constraint on the charm Yukawa coupling modifier |κc|<8.5(12.4), at the 95% confidence level. A combination with the ATLAS (W/Z)H,H→bb̅ analysis is performed, allowing the ratio κcb to be constrained without assumptions about the width of the Higgs boson. The ratio is constrained to be |κcb|<4.5 at the 95% confidence level, smaller than the ratio of the b- and c-quark masses, and therefore determines the Higgs-charm coupling to be weaker than the Higgs-bottom coupling at the 95% confidence level.
Original languageEnglish
Article number717
Number of pages42
JournalEur. Phys. J. C
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

58 pages in total, author list starting page 43, 17 figures, 5 tables, submitted to EPJC. All figures including auxiliary figures are available at


  • hep-ex


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