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Searching for QCD instantons at hadron colliders

Khoze, Valentin V.; Milne, Daniel L.; Spannowsky, Michael

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QCD instantons are arguably the best motivated yet unobserved nonperturbative effects predicted by the Standard Model. A discovery and detailed study of instanton-generated processes at colliders would provide a new window into the phenomenological exploration of QCD and a vastly improved fundamental understanding of its nonperturbative dynamics. Building on the optical theorem, we numerically calculate the total instanton cross section from the elastic scattering amplitude, also including quantum effects arising from resummed perturbative exchanges between hard gluons in the initial state, thereby improving in accuracy on previous results. Although QCD instanton processes are predicted to be produced with a large scattering cross section at small center-of-mass partonic energies, discovering them at hadron colliders is a challenging task that requires dedicated search strategies. We evaluate the sensitivity of high-luminosity LHC runs, as well as low-luminosity LHC and Tevatron runs. We find that LHC low-luminosity runs in particular, which do not suffer from large pileup and trigger thresholds, show a very good sensitivity for discovering QCD instanton-generated processes.


Khoze, V. V., Milne, D. L., & Spannowsky, M. (2021). Searching for QCD instantons at hadron colliders. Physical Review D, 103(1), Article 014017.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 19, 2021
Publication Date Jan 1, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 10, 2021
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 103
Issue 1
Article Number 014017


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (621 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP

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