cpcChinese Physics C1674-1137Chinese Physical Society and the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and IOP Publishing Ltd
cpc_47_4_04310610.1088/1674-1137/acb7d1acb7d1PaperNote on rare Z-boson decays to double heavy quarkonia*

Supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11575175, 12047502) and National Research and development Program of China (2020YFA0406400)

Within the standard model, we have investigated rare Z-boson decays into double heavy quarkonia, and , with V and P denoting vector and pseudoscalar quarkonia, respectively. It is assumed that the leading-order QCD diagrams would give the dominant contributions to these processes, and the corresponding branching fractions, for instance, , have been estimated to be approximately in literature. However, these decays could also happen through electromagnetic transitions and , with the virtual photon transforming into V. Interestingly, the smallness of the vector quarkonium mass can give rise to a large factor relative to the QCD contributions, which thus counteracts the suppression from the electromagnetic coupling. We systematically include these two types of contributions in our calculation to predict branching fractions for these decays. Particularly, owing to the virtual photon effects, it is found that will be significantly enhanced, up to .

rare decaysZ-bosonheavy quarkonia

Article funded by SCOAP^{3}

arxivppt2208.12652INTRODUCTION

The large rate of Z boson production at the LHC may facilitate the experimental analysis of rare Z-boson decay channels. In 2019, a search for rare Z-boson decays into a pair of heavy vector quarkonia, (), was performed for the first time by the CMS Collaboration [1], and the upper limits on the branching fractions were obtained. Very recently, these upper limits were updated in Ref. [2] as

and

at the 95% confidence level.

In the standard model (SM), rare decays of have already been calculated in Refs. [3, 4]. It is generally believed that the lowest QCD diagrams, as displayed in Fig. 1, would give rise to the dominant contributions to these transitions in the SM. In this study, we reexamined the analysis of these decays in the SM. It was shown that, besides the diagrams in Fig. 1, some other diagrams, as displayed in Fig, 2, may also bring about important contributions due to the virtual photon exchange. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a systematical calculation of the branching ratios of decays by including all of the relevant diagrams. In future studies, this will help to compare the SM predictions with experimental measurements.

Lowest-order QCD diagrams contributing to decays. The solid line with arrows denotes the heavy quarks Q or . Owing to the exchange of final identical particles, there are four diagrams in total.

Diagrams contributing to decays in the standard model (SM) through the virtual photon exchange. The solid line with arrows denotes the heavy quarks Q or . Owing to the exchange of final identical particles, there are four diagrams in total.

This paper is organized as follows. In Sec. II, we update the leading-order QCD analysis of . The virtual photon contributions to Z-boson decays into the same fianl states will be studied in Sec. III. In Sec. IV, a rare mode, with P denoting pseudoscalar heavy quarkonia, is similarly analyzed. Finally, we summarize our results in Sec. V.

Let us first deal with Fig. 1, which gives the leading-order QCD contributions to transitions. To evaluate the decay amplitudes explicitly, one should project into the corresponding hadron states. As a reasonable approximation for the leading order calculation, in the present work, we adopt the nonrelativistic color-singlet model [5–13], in which the quark momentum and mass are taken to be one half of the corresponding quarkonium momentum p and mass , i.e., and . Thus, for the pair to form the heavy quarkonium V, one can replace the combination of the Dirac spinors for Q and by the following projection operator [14, 15]:

where is the unit matrix in color space, and is the polarization vector of the heavy quarkonium V. is the wave function at the origin for V, which is a nonperturbative parameter.

Using the standard Z-boson and gluon couplings to quark pair, one can perform the direct calculation from Fig. 1, which gives

Here, we take the two quarkonia in the final state and Z-boson momenta to be p, q, and , respectively. g is the weak SU(2) coupling constant, is the Weinberg angle, is the axial-vector coupling of the Z to the quark Q, and , with denoting the third component of the weak isospin of the heavy quark. , and is the strong coupling constant.

One can find that only appears in the amplitude , and the vector-component of the coupling cannot contribute to decays due to the charge conjugate invariance^{
①
}. This has also been shown explicitly in Ref. [3]. After squaring the amplitude and summing/averaging over the polarizations of the final or initial particles, one can obtain the decay rate as

Note that will not vanish when we set . This seems to be in contrast with the Landau-Yang theorem [16, 17], which states that a massive vector such as the Z-boson cannot decay into two one-shell photons. Here, the difference is that the final vector particle V is also massive, and it has the longitudinal polarization. In the limit of , the longitudinal component will be proportional to . One can easily find that, from Eq. (4), when one of the final vector bosons is longitudinally polarized, the dependence of the amplitude disappears. Thus, numerically, by taking

from Refs. [18–20] and , we have

and

which predict small branching fractions for these processes.

Note that our analytic expression for in Eq. (5) will be identical to the one shown in Eq. (3) of Ref. [3] if we take

with . However, our numerical results are not in good agreement with the predictions obtained in Ref. [3]: and . Even if the numerical values for 's of Ref. [3] are used in our calculation, one still cannot reproduce their results^{
②
}.

Moreover, our prediction for the charmonium mode is larger than the one by the authors of Ref. [4], in which they obtained by taking the nonperturbative matrix element GeV and the strong coupling . Furthermore, using the relation [18], one may find that Eq. (5) will give , which is still larger by a factor of approximately 2.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO <inline-formula>
<tex-math><?CDATA $\boldsymbol{Z\to VV}$?></tex-math>
<inline-graphic xlink:href="cpc_47_4_043106_M61.jpg" xlink:type="simple"/>
</inline-formula> FROM THE VIRTUAL PHOTON EXCHANGE

We have updated the analysis of the leading-order QCD contributions to decays. One may argue that the next-to-leading order QCD corrections could be important. This is of course interesting but not the main purpose of the present study. As pointed out in Introduction, the diagrams in Fig. 2 could also lead to significant contributions to these transitions. Thus, the Z-boson decays into double vector heavy quarkonia could also occur via , with the virtual photon transforming into V. A similar mechanism has been studied in rare Higgs and other Z-boson decays, such as in [20], [21], [22], and [23–26] processes.

Now, from Fig. 2, it is straightforward to derive the corresponding decay amplitude for , which reads

Here, is the electric charge of the heavy quark, , and . As mentioned above, due to the charge conjugation symmetry, only the axial-vector component of the coupling contributes to the amplitude. One can find that and have the same structure but different signs. It is generally assumed that will be suppressed because of the electromagnetic coupling. However, by computing

it is evident that the smallness of the vector quarkonia masses will give rise to a large factor , which thus counteracts the suppression of . Explicitly, we have

for the charmonium case, and

for the bottomonium case. In the above numerical calculation, we used 1/132.64 and . Combining and , we thus obtain the leading order SM predictions for the decay rates of processes as follows:

and

Here, the errors of these results are only due to the uncertainties of the 's in Eq. (6). Obviously, comparing with the leading-order QCD contributions [Eqs. (7) and (8)], the large amplitude for the charmonioum final states leads to a significant enhancement of , which could reach up to , while the comparable and with different signs in the bottomonium case result in accidental cancellation in the amplitude, which substantially decreases the decay rate of . In the Note added in proof of their paper, the authors of Ref. [3] pointed out that these decays could be via , and the decay rate could be approximated by . Using the results for in Ref. [27], they further obtained and . In the present study, we included both types of contributions to predict .

Only uncertainties of the 's are included to evaluate the errors on our results because our present study is performed in the framework of a nonrelativistic color-singlet model. Further, one can use the nonrelativistic QCD (NRQCD) factorization method [28, 29] to calculate corrections in powers of and v (v is the heavy-quark velocity in the quarkonium rest frame). Our results are equal to the ones from the NRQCD approach at the leading order. To estimate the theoretical errors, one may simply assume that the uncalculated QCD corrections in are of relative size and that the uncalculated corrections in v are of relative size . This leads to and by taking and for charmonium and and for bottomonium, respectively. These errors are comparable to the ones in Eqs. (13) and (14).

A systematical analysis of corrections to our leading-order predictions from higher order and v in the framework of NRQCD will be an interesting theoretical investigation. Very recently, next-to-leading-order QCD corrections to Z-boson decays into double charmonium were studied, and was predicted to be [30], which is consistent with our result.

<inline-formula>
<tex-math><?CDATA $ Z\to V P $?></tex-math>
<inline-graphic xlink:href="cpc_47_4_043106_M110.jpg" xlink:type="simple"/>
</inline-formula>

Similarly, rare decays of can also be analyzed. The leading-order QCD contributions to these processes come from diagrams such as that in Fig. 1, in which one of the V's is replaced by P, as calculated in Refs. [3, 4]. The corresponding decay amplitude can be written as

where is the vector coupling of the vertex, and the following projector

for the pseudoscalar quarkonium P has been used in the derivation. As a good approximation, we set . Meanwhile, similar to the final states, as shown in Fig. 2, these channels can also happen through with , which gives

One can directly find that the ratio of the two amplitudes and is now only half of the value for the decays. If we only consider the leading-order QCD contributions, i.e., the amplitude , we have

and

where we have assumed that in the numerical calculation. When both of the amplitudes are included, we obtain

and

where the errors are also only due to the uncertainties of the 's.

SUMMARY

We have presented a theoretical analysis of rare Z-boson decays into double heavy quarkonia in the SM. Our study explicitly shows that, besides the leading-order QCD diagrams, other transitions via and , followed by , can also bring about significant contributions to these processes. To provide up-to-date theoretical predictions for these rare Z-boson decay for use in the LHC or other future high-precision experimental facilities, we calculate both of them in the present study. The branching fractions for these decays are predicted as shown in Eqs. (13), (14), (20), and (21), respectively, which are far below the current experimental limits reported by the CMS Collaboration [2]. In general, it will be challenging to search for such rare processes. However, some interesting room for new physics may be expected in these decays. One could directly utilize some non-standard interactions, which, for instance, have been analyzed in Refs. [31–33]. The novel couplings might give rise to possible deviations from the SM predictions. Nevertheless, a careful investigation is definitely needed to construct some realistic and significant models. This topic is meaningful for the future study.

The enormous events of Z bosons will be produced in the high-luminosity LHC [34, 35] or other future experiments such as the FCC-ee [36] and CEPC [37], both of which will be planned to run at the Z mass region for a period time. Particularly, at the CEPC, running as both a Higgs factory and a Z factory, a huge number of Z bosons, approximately , would be accumulated. We look forward to other interesting searches for rare Z-boson decays being performed at these machines.

The charge conjugate invariance is not respected by the weak interaction since Z-boson couplings to quarks involve both vector current and axial-vector current, which have the different C-parity. On the other hand, these currents hadronize into the final heavy quarkonia via the strong or electromagnetic interactions, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, which should obey the charge conjugate symmetry.

If we take the standard inputs for ,, , , and , together with the values for and the predicted in Ref. [3], we will obtain . One can find that the scale of is around or below. This is obviously not reasonable since, for the leading-order QCD contribution in Fig. 1, the virtuality of the gluon is .

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