A novel approach for the study of near conformal theories for electroweak symmetry breaking
Weinberg, Evan Solomon
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The discovery of a light scalar at the Large Hadron Collider is in basic agreement with the predictions of an elementary Higgs in the Standard Model (SM). Nonetheless, a light, fundamental scalar is difficult to accommodate in the SM because quantum corrections suggest its mass should be much higher than the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking (EWSB). A natural possibility is to replace the Higgs by a strongly coupled composite. Composite dynamics also gives a natural explanation to the origin of EWSB. Phenomenologically viable composite models of EWSB are constrained by experiment to feature approximate scale invariance. This behavior may follow from near conformal dynamics. At present, lattice gauge theory (LGT) provides the only quantitative method to study near conformal composite Higgs dynamics in a fully consistent strongly coupled relativistic quantum field theory. As a novel approach to the question of finding and studying near conformal theories, I will apply LGT to the study of a generalization of Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD) with four chiral fermion flavors plus eight flavors of finite, tunable mass. By continuously varying the mass of the eight heavy flavors, I can tune between the four flavor chirally broken theory, which exhibits features similar to QCD, and the twelve flavor theory, which is known to have a conformal fixed point. This is the "4+8 Model" for directly studying near-conformal behavior. In this dissertation, I will review modern composite phenomenology, followed by outlining a study of the 4+8 Model over a range of heavy flavor masses. As a check of near-conformal behavior, I will measure the scale dependent coupling with the method of the Wilson Flow. After verifying the existence of controllable, approximate scale invariance, I will measure the low energy particle spectrum of the 4+8 Model. This includes a Higgs-like light composite scalar. Throughout this dissertation I will make reference to LGT measurement code I wrote and contributed to the software package FUEL.